New START treaty must be implemented before further nuclear disarmament moves are made – Moscow

File Photo of Stealth Bomber in Flight

(Interfax – MOSCOW, September 29, 2013) The New START Treaty on strategic offensive arms reductions must be implemented before further large-scale steps are taken in nuclear disarmament, a Russian diplomat said.

“The Russian nuclear disarmament priorities remain unchanged. Before taking further large-scale steps in nuclear disarmament, the implementation of the New START Treaty must be ensured and its effectiveness and viability proven,” Alexei Karpov, deputy director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Security and Disarmament Department, said at a high-level conference on nuclear disarmament at the 68th session of the UN General Assembly on September 26.

“Talks on further strategic offensive weapons cuts are possible only with due account taken of all factors influencing global strategic stability, first of all plans for unilateral deployment of a strategic missile defense system, the creation of conventional strategic offensive weapons, the threat of deploying weapons in outer space, the growing qualitative and qualitative misbalances in conventional arsenals against the backdrop of old and new regional conflicts, uncertainty about the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty’s enforcement and other factors,” Karpov said, according to the Russian Foreign Ministry’s statement on Sunday.

“Importantly, the preamble of the New START Treaty reflects the goal of broadening the step-by-step reduction and limitation of nuclear weapons, and making this process multilateral. We have approached the threshold, where the arsenals of all states possessing a military nuclear potential must be take into account. Involving all countries that possess nuclear weapons, but are not signatories to the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons, in this dialogue is another necessity,” he said.

“Those who are urging a serious and responsible dialogue on comprehensive and complete nuclear disarmament get our constructive answer: the main efforts must be focused on creating an environment that will facilitate nuclear disarmament, concurrently strengthening strategic stability based on the principles of equal and indivisible security of all states without exception. If such an environment is not created, it would be impossible to talk about any prospects of nuclear disarmament,” the Russian diplomat said.

Russia has urged NATO on many occasions – as the first step to continue the dialogue on nonstrategic weapons reductions – “to return the entire nonstrategic nuclear arms arsenals to the territories of the countries they belong to, to dismantle completely the foreign-based infrastructure intended for their rapid deployment, and to give up the ‘joint use’ of such weapons, which involves the participation of nonnuclear members of the Alliance in practicing nuclear weapons employment,” Karpov said.