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UNITED NATIONS, May 6./ITAR-TASS/. Russia is not ready to give up nuclear weapons as at the present stage it is a legitimate means of deterrence and protection of the national interests, the director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s department for security and disarmament, Mikhail Ulyanov, told ITAR-TASS on Monday.
Ulyanov leads the Russian delegation to a third session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2015 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.
The diplomat said representatives of many non-nuclear states had voiced disapproval of the pace of nuclear disarmament. Some of them are rather radically minded, suggesting “a ban on nuclear weapons as it happened with chemical and biological weapons”.
“But we are not ready for that, and proceed from the fact that nuclear weapons are a legitimate means of deterrence and protection of the national interests at the present stage,” he said. The diplomat believes disarmament must proceed stage-by-stage “in conditions of strategic stability, with due regard for all factors influencing international security and national security of Russia”.
“Now the situation is unfavourable, if for no other reason than missile defence. So, conditions are far from being favourable for arrangements on new moves,” he said.
Ulyanov reminded the interlocutor that the 2010 treaty between the US and Russia on measures for the further reduction and limitation of strategic offensive arms (new START) was in place at the present stage. It envisages, in particular, the decrease of arsenals of nuclear warheads to 1,550. “Its implementation will take long, and once we complete it, then we will look into the situation,” the diplomat noted.