Assistant of the President of the Russian Federation On Strategic Stability

The Second Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force Of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban-Treaty

New York
November 11, 200

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Mr. President,

Mr. Executive Secretary,

Distinguished participants in the Conference,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Thank you for the opportunity to address this high level international forum.

First of all, allow me to read the Address of the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir V. Putin to the participants and guests of the Conference; the text thereof will be distributed.

Distinguished participants in the Conference,

Just very recently the ways for assuring strategic stability have been searched mainly in the nuclear field. Inter alia, it was basically about establishing the nuclear parity between the Soviet Union and the United States, which required a continued improvement of nuclear weapons while nuclear tests were just a derivative of such a policy.

In recent decade, the situation has drastically changed. It's become clear that these days the nuclear disarmament is not the only thing that strategic stability depends on. To a great extent, the security of Mankind now depends on the ability to address new challenges like proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery vehicles.

The unprecedented barbarous and inhuman attacks in New York and Washington D.C. made it explicit that the international terrorism is a major threat. This tragedy has been suffered not only by the Americans but by all the civilized Mankind.

We fully share both the grief for the innocent people who had to die and the anger toward those behind these acts of enormous terrorism. These events have proved that a severe and uncompromising fight against the international terrorism is ahead of us. Countering the proliferation of nuclear weapons is undoubtedly an integral component of this fight. At the same time, the existing system of international treaties in this field remains insufficient and requires further improvement. While fighting terrorism, we should take a well-considered approach to the use of the military force and keep in mind the importance of preventive measures including those based on the improvement and efficient application of the system of the international treaties.

The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) holds a very important place in: this system. The international community had traveled a long way before it comprehensively banned nuclear tests. There are almost four decades between the 1963 Moscow Treaty banning nuclear-weapons tests in the atmosphere, in outer space and underwater, and the CTBT. The rationale of this Treaty itself proved that the international community needed an increased confidence among the states. This Treaty became a very important step in strengthening stability and nuclear non-proliferation and explicitly confirmed the intention of many countries to bring down the nuclear threat.

Nonetheless, the Treaty was opened for signature five years ago and until now, it has not entered into force. Moreover, there are dangerous trends toward disrupting it. This may result in a crisis of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty regime and an uncontained spread of the nuclear weapons. This would take place against the backdrop of the attempts to revise the 1972 ABM Treaty while disruption of the ABM Treaty would allow proliferation of the missiles as delivery vehicles for weapons of mass destruction. This is quite alarming and, inter alia, means that the nuclear area can again become the priority in assuring strategic stability.

Who can guarantee that in such a situation the most dangerous thing will not happen and nuclear weapons will not fall in the hands of terrorists? The international community should preclude any opportunity for nuclear blackmail and unite its efforts in strengthening the non-proliferation regime. The entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty is the most important step in this direction.

In this context, I would like to reconfirm that the Russian Federation is invariably committed to this Treaty and advocates its expeditious entry into force.

Russia ratified the CTBT, the START-11 and - the 1997 package of ABM Agreements. Living, itself, through quite a complicated situation, Russia produced far-reaching initiatives of further substantial reduction of strategic offensive arms and limitation of the delivery vehicles for weapons of mass destruction. In so doing, Russia showed its determination to reach a factual nuclear weapons reduction and disarmament.

The opponents to the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty often provide the reasoning that it is impossible to assure the reliability and safety of nuclear weapons without actual tests.

Russia represents an example of the contrary. The present-day science and technology provide sufficient set of measures to assure the reliability and safety of nuclear weapons. I declare this as a person who for several decades has been directly dealing with both nuclear weapons and nuclear tests.

Some countries are reluctant to ratify the CTBT arguing that the verification regime has not been fully developed yet; others take a negative attitude, toward the Treaty saying that it does not provide for any sufficient verification at all.

The unprecedented international verification mechanism being developed under the CTBT and the available modern national means of monitoring make it absolutely impossible to hide any violation of the Treaty.

In order to strengthen the confidence-building measures after entry into force of the Treaty we are prepared to suggest, to the United States in the first place, considering the possibility to develop additional verification measures for nuclear test ranges going far beyond the Treaty provisions. This could include the exchange of geological data and results of certain experiments, installation of additional sensors, and other measures.

We call upon all of the Treaty signatory-states not to violate the spirit and the letter of the CTBT although it has not yet entered into force.

We call upon the countries that have not signed or have not yet ratified this Treaty to do this without delay, referring, in the first place, to the countries that the entry into force of the Treaty depends on.

The early entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty is the imperative of the time.

Thank your, Mr. President.

Unofficial translation
November 11, 2001




I present my compliments to the participants in the Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT).

Russia has always considered this Treaty a most important instrument in the fields of nuclear weapons limitation, strengthening of the international nuclear non-proliferation regime and preservation of the strategic stability in the world.

We are convinced that both the early entry into force of the Treaty and making it universal in nature meet the interests of all the world community.

Russia has a responsible attitude toward its commitments in the field of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. We intend to continue standing by these commitments while preserving strategic stability and the system of the disarmament treaties established in recent decades, as the framework for further reduction and limitation of strategic offensive arms. This is why Russia did its best to promptly ratify this Treaty.

We are concerned about the current situation around the entry into force of the CTBT. In five years that have passed since the Treaty was opened for signature, it has not appeared on the list of effective international agreements and, unfortunately, for the time being, is far from that.

We attach great importance to this Conference that is intended to support the CTBT and facilitate its early entry into force in strict compliance with Article XIV of the Treaty.

I wish the participants in the Conference a fruitful work and success.

Vladimir V. Putin
23 September 2001