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THE HAGUE, March 24, /ITAR-TASS/. A summit on nuclear security opens here on Monday. It will be attended by the leaders of over 50 countries and five international organizations, among them US President Barack Obama, UK Prime Minister David Cameron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, President Xi Jinping of the People's Republic of China, and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.The Russian delegation is led by Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov. BRICS Foreign ministers are expected to meet on the sidelines of the forum and Lavrov is to hold bilateral talks with US Secretary of State John Kerry.
Dutch government official Peter de Clercq, who is in charge of preparations for the two-day summit, told Itar-Tass earlier that there would be three items on the agenda. "The first item will be a cutback in the stocks of dangerous radioactive substances highly enriched uranium and plutoniumn which can be used for the development of nuclear weapons, and a cut in the number of facilities where they are kept. The second item concerns an improvement in the protection of facilities proper, and the third one deals with the strengthening of international cooperation in the field of nuclear security," he said.
"A substantial progress has been made on each of these items in the past several years," de Clercq emphasized. "Thus, radioactie substances have diminished in scope and many countries took additional measures to ensure their protection and expressed readiness to receive groups of international inspectors who thoroughly verify the regime of nuclear security of the state and work out recommendations".
Russia's Foreign Ministry analysts pointed out in the run-up to the forum that Moscow consistently fulfils international obligatins in the field of nuclear security and joined all the main international-legal mechanisms: the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nucleat Material and 2005 Amemdents to it, as well as the International Convention on the Supression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism. The Ministry analysts recalled, "There are no nuclear materials, facilities in the country's territory, or physical protection level causing apprehensions. All nuclear materials, places for their storage and respective facilities, as well as the transportation of nuclear materials are accopanied with the necessary safety measures".
At the same time, the RF Foreign Ministry officials expressed cocern over the fact that not all countries hurry to assume legal obligations in this respect.
As a result of the summit, a communique is to be adopted to deal with further moves necessary for enhancing the nuclear security regime.
This summit will be a third one. The first one was held in Washington in 2010 and the second one in Seoul in 2012.
At the same time, organizers point out, the nuclear security issue at the summit may recede into the background in view of the situation in Ukraine. This issue will be a subject of discussion at a meeting of G7 countries - Britain, Germany Italy, Canada, France, the USA, and Japan.
Ukraine-related themes will be also touched upon during a meeting between Russia's Foreign Minister and the US Secretary of State.