Statement by Mr. Andrei Belousov, Deputy Head of the Russian Delegation in Exercise of the Right of Reply at the 8th Plenary Meeting of the 10th NPT Review Conference
We have requested the floor to address another batch of baseless and even false allegations against Russia.
In particular, the statements about Russia's unprovoked attack are made by those who, for political reasons, want to portray Russia as the aggressor. The situation in Ukraine is hardly relevant to the theme of the Review Conference. Nevertheless, we should clarify that Russia's compelled special military operation is an adequate response to the criminal actions of the Kiev regime, the unceasing since 2014 shelling and killing of residents of the now Donetsk and Lugansk Republics, which were carried out at the instigation and with the support of the "collective West". We remind that the current regime in Kiev came to power under the slogans directly calling for killing Russians. All these are facts that many of our opponents simply ignore or keep silent of.
We have already indicated that the allegations about Russia threatening to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine and against Ukraine are untenable and baseless. This is impossible since Russian doctrinal guidelines strictly limit emergency situations in which the use of nuclear weapons is hypothetically possible, namely in response to aggression involving weapons of mass destruction, or in response to aggression involving conventional weapons, where the very existence of the state is threatened. None of these hypothetical scenarios is relevant to the situation in Ukraine.
The leadership of Russia has consistently stated that it is fully aware of the real threats posed by nuclear weapons and has brought its commitment to responsible behavior in this area to the level of state policy. Our statements that "the risk of nuclear war is serious" are a reaction to the destabilizing and dangerous behavior of Western countries, their aggressive anti-Russian rhetoric, and their interference in the situation in Ukraine as they dangerously balance on the edge of a direct armed confrontation with Russia. Suffice it to recall the discussions within NATO about closing the airspace over Ukraine, which meant direct interference in the situation in that country.
Russia is committed to the provisions of the January statement of the P5, including the one on the avoidance of any military confrontations between nuclear-weapon states, as it is fraught with the risk of escalation to the nuclear level. Our actions are consistent with it. This is the essence of Russia's warnings about the potential consequences of direct aggression by NATO countries against our country in the context of the Ukrainian crisis.
The allegations that Russian nuclear forces are on high alert are not true. The President of Russia has ordered to temporarily put the deterrence forces on special duty, which means the transition of shifts of strategic command posts to the duty with reinforced personnel. This also implies increased vigilance, not a state of high alert of strategic nuclear forces. These are completely different things.
We have explained in detail the groundlessness of allegations that Russia violated the provisions of the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances in connection with Ukraine's accession to the NPT. Loss of the territorial integrity by this country is the result of internal centrifugal processes triggered by external destabilizing influence of the West, as well as Kiev's failure to comply with its obligations under the memorandum. In particular, those that were meant to counter the rise of aggressive nationalism and chauvinism in Ukraine. The regime in Kiev made aggressive nationalism its domestic policy, which was not accepted by entire regions of the country. Neither the Russian Federation nor its obligations under the Budapest Memorandum have any connection to these happenings. Russia did not undertake any obligation to force parts of Ukraine to remain within it against the will of the local population.
The allegations that Russia is building up its nuclear capabilities are unsubstantiated and groundless. They are either based on inaccurate assessments or blatant disinformation.
We strictly observe our arms control obligations. The introduction of new weapon systems in Russia is caused by the need to optimize the existing arsenal, including by decommissioning obsolete types. At the same time, the development of advanced systems relates to the need to maintain the strategic balance, which is purposefully undermined by destabilizing steps by the United States to develop an unconstrained global missile defense system combined with high-precision non-nuclear "global strike" weapons capable of achieving strategic objectives, as well as other actions that threaten strategic stability.
Russia proposed to give careful consideration to all these factors within Russia-U.S. strategic dialogue in order to find long-term and mutually acceptable solutions within the framework of establishing a new "security equation " that is adequate to current realities. However, the U.S. unilaterally cut off this dialogue.
We are left to wonder at the overactive imagination of the representative of Poland, who, contrary to the facts, claims that Russia does nothing for nuclear disarmament for years. It would seem obvious to everyone that the New START Treaty is in force and that real nuclear arms reductions have been made under it. We would suggest that our Polish colleagues refer to their indisputable authority – the United States – which, as a party to the New START Treaty, admits that the Russian Federation is fulfilling its obligations under it, and states that it is also reducing its nuclear arsenals.
In conclusion, I would like to say that the statement made by the representative of Ukraine was completely false. We will provide real evidence of what is going on at the Zaporozhye NPP at this moment and refute all allegations of made by the Ukrainian representative.