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Сonference “Preparing to the 2010 NPT Review Conference: What should be done?” 24.02.2010

On February 24, 2010 in hotel National (Moscow) within a framework of joint project with the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) “Ways towards Nuclear Disarmament” PIR Center held a conference titled “Preparing to the 2010 NPT Review Conference: What should be done?

Presentations and comments were made by:

  • Oleg Rozhkov, Deputy Director of the Department for Security Affairs and Disarmament of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Russia;
  • John Beyrle, Ambassador of the United States of America to Russia;
  • Roland Timerbaev, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Member of the PIR Center's Executive Board;
  • Walter Giger, Ambassador of Switzerland to Russia;
  • Rebecca Johnson, Executive Director of the Acronym Institute (London, United Kingdom)
  • Evgeny Buzhinsky, Lieutenant-General, Head of the International Treaties Department; Deputy Head of the Main Directorate for International Military Cooperation of the Russian Defense Ministry (2002-2009).

In May 2010 next NPT Review Conference will take place in New York. All speakers noted the need to achieve success at the Conference. During presentations and in subsequent discussions issues of the IAEA safeguards, nuclear disarmament, problems of the entry into force of the CTBT, Middle East, multilateral approaches to nuclear fuel cycle, Iranian nuclear program and Russia's position on sanctions were discussed.

The presentation of John Beyrle, Ambassador of the United States of America to Russia, was devoted to the preparatory work  carried out by the United States on the eve of the upcoming Review Conference, and also to the main, from the American point of view, problems of the nonproliferation regime: the growing state and non-state actors interest to nuclear weapons, the presence of the loopholes in the IAEA verification system, the non-fulfillment of NPT obligations by some states and the threat of nuclear terrorism. At the same time, according to the Ambassador, "The US government is actively working on strengthening the NPT and enhancement of the IAEA capabilities. We are also ready to continue cooperation with Russia on nuclear disarmament issues".

Oleg Rozhkov, Deputy Director of the Department for Security Affairs and Disarmament of Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, gave a comprehensive analysis of the Russian position. According to him, from the upcoming Review Conference Moscow expects reaffirmation of the NPT significance at the international level, as well as universalization of the IAEA safeguards system. Moreover, he announced Russian proposals on the Middle East and the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

Answering a question about Russian participation in sanctions against Iran, Oleg Rozhkov said, that "It is doubtful that Russia would ever support sanctions, which aim at isolating Iran in military-political, economic or financial spheres, because Russia is not working on overthrowing the existing political regime in Teheran."

Situation around Iranian nuclear program warranted many questions from the participants. Lieutenant-General Evgeny Buzhinsky said: “Sanctions against Iran will not be able to prevent Iran creating nuclear weapons. At the same time, the US demands to stop military-technical cooperation between Russia and Iran are unfair.”

More than 60 participants took part in the Conference, including representatives of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Ministry of Defense, academic experts, representatives of embassies and international organizations.

Materials from the previous seminars and round tables, as well as publications on disarmament issues can be found on PIR Center's website in the section devoted to “Ways Towards Nuclear Disarmament” Project