Russia refuses to support overall ban on nuclear weapons

Russia believes that it is too early to begin the nuclear disarmament process, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said on Thursday.

Movement towards the abandoning of nuclear weapons “must be weighed and in stages”, and at present it is hindered by the aggressive policy of the US, the diplomat stated at a conference titled: “50 years since the signing of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons: achievements, challenges and prospects”.

According to Ryabkov, nuclear disarmament will not be possible until “equal and indivisible security”  is ensured for all, and the world’s “problems relating to international stability” are resolved.

According to the Russian diplomat, Russia sees such a problem in the US: the US unilaterally withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, which restricted their ability to protect themselves from a possible nuclear strike by a probable enemy, the USSR and then Russia.

Anti-missile defense systems have appeared in Eastern Europe, and may be deployed in Germany in the coming years.

At the same time, Washington continues to work on “high precision strategic offensive weapons with a non-nuclear payload”, Ryabkov recalled. This is part of the lightning-fast global strike program which the Pentagon has been developing since the start of the 2010s: it involves a hypersonic non-nuclear strike on the enemy’s nuclear forces, before they have time to damage the US or their allies.

In addition, a “quantitative and qualitative imbalance in the sphere of normal weapons” persists and is even growing in some cases, and the prospect of taking weapons into space remains on the cards. This “undermines trust and negates all disarmament efforts,” the diplomat emphasized. The US has also refused to ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, but the world community has closed its eyes to this situation, limiting itself to dutiful words on the necessity to comply with the treaty, and pretending that the US’s refusal is “not such a serious event”, Ryabkov observed. “In actual fact, the situation is very very alarming,” he added. Over the last 30 years, Russia has reduced its nuclear potential by 85%. “We have also reduced by 75% the number of non-strategic nuclear weapons, and transferred such weaponry into the non-deployed category, concentrating it at central storage bases within our national territory,” the diplomat commented. “For further nuclear disarmament, the efforts of the international community must be focused on resolving the current problems in the area of international security and stability”.

  nuclear weapons, Russia

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