29 August 2012 17:43

Russia urges further reduction of nuclear weapons

ASTANA. August 29. KAZINFORM Russia calls for continuing the policy on restriction of nuclear weapons only under condition of ensuring equal security for all countries, Federation Council speaker Valentina Matviyenko told an international conference entitled "From nuclear test ban toward a world free of nuclear weapons" on Wednesday, Kazinform refers to Itar-Tass.

"The issues of strengthening nuclear security remain Russia's foreign policy priority," she said. "As before we remain supporters and performers of the comprehensive strategy targeted at reducing and restricting nuclear arsenals under condition of equal and indivisible security and inclusion of all countries obtaining nuclear arsenals to this process."

She emphasized that at present, "threats to the global nuclear non-proliferation regime can and should be eliminated on the basis of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons."

Matviyenko focused on those provisions that Russia considers obligatory for continuing talks on further reduction of strategic offensive arms.

In particular, "this concerns further process of nuclear disarmament by all nuclear states and their step by step joining the efforts taken by Russia and the United States and prevention of an arms race in outer space," the speaker said.

"By the way, some western countries block consideration of a draft treaty on this issue submitted by Russia at the disarmament conference five years ago. In this respect we also hope for a more active position of our partners," she said adding that Russia also called for ensuring guarantees that countries have no breakout potential and opposed the creation of the so-called compensatory potential.

Moreover, Matviyenko named as a necessary precondition for continuing the reduction of strategic arms "refusal to unilaterally develop strategic missile defence systems, which is fraught with erosion of strategic stability and disturbance in the checks and balances system that ensures global parity."

It is also necessary "to restore viability of the conventional arms control regime and to settle regional conflicts," she said.

"Of course, the lack of progress in the ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty cannot but raise our concern. We are confident that ratification of the treaty by the United States would strongly speed up the entry of this document into force," Matviyenko said.

The United States has observed a moratorium on nuclear testing for the past twenty years, but has not yet ratified the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, although it signed it back in 1996.

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