Non-proliferation treaty: Russia’s reflections

Ambassador's view
Dr Alexander Yakovenko, Russian Ambassador to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Deputy foreign minister (2005-2011). Follow him on Twitter @Amb_Yakovenko
Non-proliferation treaty: Russia’s reflections
On March 5, the international community marked the 45th anniversary of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) coming into force.

The NPT is the cornerstone of the nuclear non-proliferation regime. It has contributed hugely to the prevention of the spread of nuclear weapons, created conditions for progress towards nuclear disarmament, as well as contributed to productive international cooperation in peaceful uses of atomic energy.

The treaty meets the fundamental interests of all participants, both nuclear-armed and non-nuclear countries. Consistent strengthening of the NPT, as well as finding ways to respond to new threats and challenges, is a common task for the international community.

From April 27 to May 22, we will be taking part in the NPT Review Conference in New York. It is important that during this event all states parties reaffirm their commitment to the treaty and the indivisible nature of obligations under it, and speak in favor of further strengthening the nuclear nonproliferation regime.

As a state party to the NPT and as one of its depositaries, Russia strictly follows the provisions of the treaty, and reaffirms its continued and unconditional support for the NPT.

Russia’s priorities at the upcoming Review Conference, among other things, include continuing efforts on the universalization of the NPT by calling upon all countries that are still outside the Treaty to accede to it. Equally important is to continue to implement the Action Plan agreed at 2010 Review Conference, along with the efforts to create a WMD-free zone in the Middle East.

We hope that progress can be achieved in creating a WMD-free zone in South-East Asia. We welcome work on further WMD-free zones, where appropriate, on the basis of arrangements freely arrived at among interested states.

Russia urges the entry into force of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) as soon as possible, and supports a launch of comprehensive negotiations on a Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty (FMCT). We count on further universalization of the IAEA additional protocol and call on the states that have not yet adopted it to do so.

The Review Conference should also reaffirm that unimpeded access to peaceful nuclear energy is provided to all the states parties to the treaty.

Russia is one of the leading countries in the field of nuclear disarmament. A new Russia-US START Treaty has been effectively being implemented by the sides since its entry into force in 2011, with the view to achieving agreed limits by 2018, i.e. 700 missiles, 1,550 warheads and 800 launchers.

We hope that the upcoming NPT Review Conference will address all the issues of mutual concern. For our part, we will take every effort to make this conference a success and expect the same from our partners.

The NPT continues to play a key role as an international legal instrument in ensuring international security and stability. Let’s ensure that it will continue to do so in the future.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.