Dr Alexander Yakovenko, Russian Ambassador to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Deputy foreign minister (2005-2011).
One of the most important tasks in the field of international security is to free the world from the threat posed by weapons of mass destruction.
Russia is constantly
advocating for further limitations and reductions of nuclear
weapons stockpiles, along with strengthening international
regimes of arms control and non-proliferation. One of the
examples in the field of nuclear disarmament is the Russia-US
START treaty, which entered into force in 2011. Under this
treaty, the sides committed themselves to limiting their nuclear
arsenals by one-third compared to previous agreements.
Further dialogue on nuclear disarmament, held both bilaterally
and internationally, could only be successful if the core
principle of international security is observed – i.e. that the
security of one country should not be strengthened at the expense
of another. Unfortunately, what is happening now on the
international scene is a far cry from what the international
community was striving for. Among other things that affect global
stability and deterrence, trust between Russia and the West is
diminishing. Some of the critical Russian concerns are left
They include an unconditional resolve of our partners to build
systems of ballistic missile defense throughout the world,
primarily in Europe, along with reluctance to engage in serious
dialogue on issues related to the Russian initiative on the
prevention of the placement of weapons in outer space, and an
ongoing uncontrolled build-up of conventional weapons along with
efforts to develop such systems that can deliver a
precision-guided conventional weapons airstrike anywhere in the
world within one hour, known as Prompt Global Strike. It is also
worth mentioning that disparity in conventional weapons in Europe
is increasing, something that consequently provokes an
unnecessary arms race on the continent.
Further nuclear disarmament would be impossible without all
countries with corresponding potential being involved in that
process. It can’t exclusively rely on the efforts by Russia and
the US. For that to happen, a greater importance should also be
attached to the earliest ratification of the Comprehensive
Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). Some states, including the US,
have still not ratified it, blocking its entry into force.
Signing and ratifying the CTBT should become an imperative of
contemporary international relations, for it will contribute to
the strengthening of the nuclear non-proliferation regime.
Global stability and nuclear deterrence remain the facts that we
have to live with. Without trust and consensus, the current
challenges in the field of nuclear disarmament are doomed to
persist for a foreseeable future. Hopefully, the time will come,
sooner rather than later, when nuclear disarmament issues are
properly addressed based on respect and trust among nations.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.