US report on Russian commitment to arms treaties 'unfounded'

Workers dressed in protective gear prepare a chemical bomb for destruction at a special facility in Russia's Urals town of Shchuchye. (REUTERS / Handout)
Moscow has dismissed accusations from Washington it does not fulfill its obligations under the international conventions banning chemical and biological weapons.

"As in previous years, the US State Department makes unfounded statements with no actual proof that Russia is allegedly violating its commitments under some international agreements," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

Last week, the US Department of State published a report on the fulfillment of obligations undertaken in arms control, nonproliferation, and disarmament agreements in 2011.

“Again, the report contains the claims over chemical and biological weapons conventions that are repeated from year to year," the Russian ministry pointed out. “It is perplexing that American experts are unaware or deliberately misrepresent information on the progress of Russia’s fulfillment of its commitments under the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), which is carried out under the control of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons."

The US also continues to voice its doubts that Russian statements on the fulfillment of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BWC) are true.

“Yet again, Americans do not cite any facts of violations, but cast doubt on Russia’s compliance with its commitments to wrap up biological programs, which had been implemented in the USSR,” the ministry says in its comment.

If a decade ago the US had not torpedoed negations to develop an inspection mechanism of the BWC, it would now be possible to avoid such groundless and unproved allegations over “the ambiguity” of Russia’s adherence to its commitments, the ministry notes.

As for the Moratoria on Nuclear Testing, the Russian Foreign Ministry says, by now the treaty has been ratified by three out of five nuclear-weapon states, namely Russia, the UK and France.

“Despite repeated assurances by President Barack Obama to accelerate the process, the US has not ratified the agreement,” the statement reads.

The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) bans nuclear explosions by everyone everywhere. The agreement was signed by 183 and ratified by 157 countries. However, to become a law, the treaty must be signed and ratified by 44 states with nuclear technology. Eight of these – including the US – have not done so yet.

“The voluntary declaration and observance of the moratoriums on nuclear tests is an important and significant measure, but it cannot replace international legal commitments," the Russian ministry stresses.