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  • Position : Consultant
  • Affiliation : PIR Center
  • Affiliation : Chairman of the Executive Board, PIR Center; Co-Chair of the Trialogue Club International.
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NPT's future discussed at the Trialogue Club meeting

27.03.2020

MOSCOW, MARCH 27, 2020. PIR PRESS – “The main objective is now to use the forthcoming Review Conference – whenever it will take place – to strengthen the NPT rather than increase disputes and clashes in relation to the treaty. Now it is extremely important to leave aside excessive ambitions and expectations for the conference and work toward its successful outcome” – Sergey Ryabkov, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation.

On March 12, 2020, an extended meeting of the Trialogue Club International took place. Its topic was “50 Years after Ratification of the NPT by the Soviet Union and its Entry into Force: Lessons Learned and Prospects for Strengthening of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Regime”. The meeting was co-sponsored by the PIR Center and the Institute of Contemporary International Studies (ICIS) at the  Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Foreign Ministry.

The meeting was held in a new format. The discussion was presided by Dr. Vladimir A. Orlov, the PIR Center Director, Founder (since 1993) &  President of the Trialogue Club International. It was moderated by the Club Co-chairs – Dr. Elena Chernenko, Deputy Head of Foreign Policy Department of the Kommersant Publishing House, and Gen. Evgeny Buzhinskiy, Chairman of the PIR Center Executive Board.

Sergey Ryabkov, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, was a keynote speaker. Welcome remarks were made by Dr. Oleg Karpovich, Director of the ICIS at the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian MFA, who spoke on behalf of the rector of the Diplomatic Academy Amb. Alexander Yakovenko.

Hon. Sergey Ryabkov addressed the history of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, shared his opinion on the current state of the non-proliferation regime and future prospects for its strengthening. Sergey Ryabkov noted the negative trends associated with the spread of coronavirus infection, and the increasing probability of postponing the NPT Review Conference, which was initially scheduled for April 27 - May 22, 2020.

According to the speaker, despite it is the 50th anniversary of the Treaty, it remains relevant, as it is still an instrument that meets the interests of both nuclear and non-nuclear states and promotes international cooperation in the field of peaceful use of nuclear energy. At the same time, the Treaty is facing a number of negative trends, including the global crisis in arms control, attempts to undermine the NPT values, and the movements of anti-nuclear states, which number is constantly growing.

«The main objective is now to use the conference to strengthen the NPT rather than increase arguments, disputes, clashes in relation to the treaty. The current situation makes us doubt, though, that the substantial final document can be successfully agreed upon by the end of this event. The more we are looking to details, the more sources for disputes we observe. That is why it is important that all state parties to the treaty put their efforts to elaborate, if it is possible, a preferably brief document which will clearly affirm their commitment to the NPT provisions, to the viability of the Treaty”.

Sergey Ryabkov concluded the speech with the following words: “Now it is extremely important to leave aside excessive ambitions and expectations for the conference and work toward its successful outcome. Russia is prepared to do this and as ever will be focused on a consensual approach and on expanding possibilities for a constructive outcome of this very important event”. 

Members and guests of the Club also expressed their views on the NPT and the nuclear non-proliferation regime. Thus, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of India Venkatesh D.B. Varma looked back in the history and noted that since its conclusion, the NPT has been a tool of the transatlantic security system based on relations between the Soviet Union/Russia and the United States. Albert Zulkharneev, a PIR Center consultant and former Director, did not agree with this thought, since, according to him, many countries, including Mexico, Brazil, Burma, participated in the creation of this truly global treaty. Evgeny Buzhinsky stated that the NPT Review Conference does not look promising, since there are too many major contradictions between the nuclear powers, in particular between Russia and the United States over the START treaty. Elena Chernenko suggested that the postponement of the Review Conference is inevitable.

Vladimir Orlov invited the audience to pay tribute to Roland Timerbaev (1927 - 2019) – former Chairman of the PIR Center Executive Board, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, one of the authors of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. Ambassador Timerbaev actively participated in drafting several key international agreements in the sphere of strategic stability and nuclear non-proliferation. Roland Timerbaev stood at the origins of the PIR Center. From 1994 to 1998, he served as the PIR Center President, and from 1999 to 2010, he was the PIR Center Executive Board Chairman. Dr. Orlov informed Club members and numerous guests that PIR Center’s team has been working on systematizing Amb. Timerbaev’s archive which was provided to PIR Center by his family. The archive will soon be open for researchers, including students.

Oleg Karpovich presented to Sergey Ryabkov a medal celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Institute of Contemporary International Studies at the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Foreign Ministry.

The meeting was attended by 37 Club members and guests from 15 states, including diplomats from Austria, Brazil, Hungary, Germany, India, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands, Romania, the USA, Finland, France, Switzerland and Sri Lanka, representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation,Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the PIR Center staff.

Our members and partners get priority in receiving invitations to join the Trialogue Club International. Club members pay  either the individual or corporate membership annual fees. For more information about the Club activities and membership fees, please, contact the Club Secretariat via e-mail: secretary@trialogue-club.ru, or by phone: +7 (985) 764-98-96

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