Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Statement by First Deputy Permanent Representative Dmitry Polyanskiy at UNSC debate on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation


We thank Secretary-General Guterres and CTBTO Executive Secretary Floyd for their briefings.  We also followed closely the remarks by Ms. Gaukhar Mukhatzhanova, Director of the International Organizations and Non-Proliferation Program at the Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation.

Today's meeting gives a good opportunity to recall the catastrophic consequences of the use of nuclear weapons. We understand the extreme sensitivity of this topic for Japan, a state that became a victim of the use of nuclear weapons by the United States. An atomic bombing by the US air force in August 1945 destroyed the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This is the only case in history when nuclear weapons were used not for testing, but for military and political purposes, and against civilians. We regret that while spreading propaganda fakes about some "threatening nuclear rhetoric from Russia", Japanese representatives do not have the courage to name the country that is responsible for the deaths of thousands of Japanese civilians - the United States of America. That is why it is crucial to preserve the historical memory of the horrific consequences of Washington's reckless move, no matter how many years have passed since then. Washington never repented for it, and, as far as we can see, never drew any conclusions. And the fact that none of those members of the Security Council who did mention Hiroshima and Nagasaki today actually said that it was Washington's responsibility, only indulges our American colleagues and strengthens their belief in own infallibility and impunity. Colleagues, think for yourselves what role in solving key international problems you can claim if you stick to such an “ostrich position”, if you are afraid (even in a historical context) to call obvious and indisputable things by their proper names.

This is particularly important in the current depressing situation in the area of international security and strategic stability. It is the result of a consistent years-long policy of the United States and its allies aimed at undermining the international architecture of arms control, disarmament, and WMD nonproliferation. In order to “win a free hand”, Washington has either consistently withdrawn from fundamental agreements in this area, (such as the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM), the Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate and Shorter-Range Missiles (INF), and the Open Skies Treaty (OST)), or made the implementation of the relevant agreements impossible, as was the case with the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) and the bilateral treaty on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (New START).

By now, the West has thrown off its masks and does not hide its aspirations to inflict a "strategic defeat" on my country. The clearly Russophobic line of the United States and its allies creates risks of escalation that threaten to trigger a direct military confrontation among nuclear powers.

Today we have heard a whole range of absurd insinuations and accusations from our Western colleagues (including in the context of Ukraine), which have nothing to do with reality. The leadership of our country has repeatedly emphasized that those insinuations are utterly groundless. The conditions for the use of nuclear weapons are clearly stipulated in our nuclear doctrine, which we strictly adhere to. We regret that not a single word of condemnation was said today against those who really stir up nuclear rhetoric. For example, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, who declared the use of "the full range of military options, including nuclear weapons" as part of extended deterrence on the Korean Peninsula, or Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who asserted that "Iran must face a real nuclear threat." We also remember with what ease London was prepared to push the nuclear button. We also see an increase in irresponsible rhetoric from Paris, which risks plunging the world into the abyss of a nuclear war. Unfortunately, the overwhelming majority of the initiatives of our Western colleagues, though packaged in a pretty wrapper, turn out to be nothing and are at best just self-promotion on their part. For example, the draft Security Council resolution on the non-deployment of nuclear weapons in outer space mentioned by the United States, which was presented at the end of last week, is, according to our preliminary assessment, highly politicized and detached from reality. This is not surprising, since its language has not been elaborated at the expert level and has not been discussed at specialized international forums, including the Conference on Disarmament and the UN Committee on Outer Space. This creates an impression that this draft resolution is nothing more than another propaganda move by Washington.

Of course, all of us would like to wake up in a world with no conflicts and no strategic risks one day. We do share the noble goal of having a world free of nuclear weapons. But so far it seems rather distant. Possession of nuclear weapons at this stage is an important factor in maintaining the strategic balance. We must realize that disturbing this balance would plunge the world into the chaos of endless wars and attempts to establish hegemony by force.

Real progress towards nuclear disarmament can be achieved only through verified step-by-step measures that are consistent with the principle of undiminished security and efforts to maintain strategic balance. It is necessary to adopt a comprehensive approach and act in accordance with the letter and spirit of Article VI of the NPT, without attempting to "single out" individual elements from the general and complete disarmament process. At the same time, both nuclear and non-nuclear states bear responsibility for the improvement of the international situation and, as a result, the implementation of the disarmament provisions of NPT.

There is no shortcut to a “nuclear zero”. This goal cannot be achieved either by outlawing nuclear weapons immediately or by trying to set a timetable for getting rid of them. How can one predict when humanity will be ready to abandon military methods of resolving contradictions forever? No one knows the answer to this. That is why the idea of an immediate unconditional renunciation of nuclear weapons, as enshrined in the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), is counterproductive, erroneous and, under current conditions, essentially populist. This approach, which does not take into account the realities of strategic stability and the security interests of nuclear states, leads to growing contradictions among states and undermines the authority of the NPT.

Also, one should remain mindful that there are specialized expert platforms for discussing nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation issues - the NPT review process, the First Committee of the UN General Assembly, the Conference on Disarmament, and the UN Disarmament Commission. We see no good reason for discussing nuclear disarmament in the Security Council. The UNSC considers non-proliferation issues in relation to country-specific files, and also (through 1540 Committee) issues of preventing weapons of mass destruction (WMD) from falling into the hands of non-state actors.

We are extremely concerned that the NPT regime, one of the fundamental elements of international security, is being seriously tested against the breakdown of the existing system of arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation agreements. More than half a century of the NPT's history confirms its relevance to all states-parties – nuclear weapon states and non-nuclear weapon states alike. It should not be forgotten that the NPT has a unique feature, thanks to which the treaty was signed and received its near-universal character. It is the clearly defined balance of three fundamental pillars - nuclear non-proliferation, nuclear disarmament and the peaceful use of atomic energy.

As we take it from the outcomes of the 10th NPT Review Conference in 2022 and the first session of the Preparatory Committee for the Review Conference scheduled for 2026, views on nuclear disarmament continue to diverge. Some Western states also "add fuel to the fire" by politicizing the discussions in order to advance their own agenda. Let me remind you that this is exactly how the draft final document of the 2022 Review Conference was "buried" – it received provocative and knowingly unacceptable anti-Russian paragraphs that had nothing to do with the objective of nuclear non-proliferation.


Russia is firmly committed to the postulate that there can be no winners in a nuclear war and that it must not be unleashed. That is why armed conflicts among nuclear-weapon states must be prevented. In this sense, we expect our Western colleagues to abandon their extremely dangerous and destructive course.

Within the framework of NPT review cycle, we are open to constructive dialogue with all countries who are interested in finding a consensus on ways to create preconditions for further nuclear disarmament on the basis of strengthening international security and taking into account the interests of all parties.


As for the issues of strategic dialog between Russia and the United States with a view to new agreements on nuclear arms control, they cannot be isolated from the general military-political context. We see no basis for such work in the context of Western countries' attempts to inflict a "strategic defeat" on Russia and their refusal to respect our vital interests. Any interaction in this area will be possible only after the United States and NATO reconsider their extremely hostile anti-Russian course and prove ready for a comprehensive dialog that should take into account all significant factors of strategic stability with a focus on eliminating the root causes of our fundamental security contradictions. We will be guided not by pretty words and empty appeals, but by deeds that so far convincingly point to the lack of interest of the United States and its allies in any serious conversation, the conversation that the entire world is very much interested in. Hysteria and threats from Washington, London and Brussels do not impress us at all and do not change the overall picture. The sooner our opponents realize this and stop shifting responsibilities, the better the chances that the doomsday clock mentioned by the Secretary-General will slow down or, ideally, reverse its course.

Thank you.

Video of the statement