MOSCOW, September 26. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia is ready to make the maximum contribution to successfully holding a conference on the creation of the Middle East nuclear weapons free zone (MENWFZ), the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Friday.
The ministry commented on a speech given by deputy head of the Russian delegation Grigory Berdennikov on the results of the IAEA General Conference in Vienna.
“All countries of the Middle East region should step up efforts on preparations for the MENWFZ meeting and focus on such key aspects as the agenda for the conference and a final draft document,” he said.
“The Russian delegation voted for the draft resolution on Israel’s nuclear potential based on Russia’s principled policy to the universalisation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty,” Berdennikov said.
At the same time, he said, “Amid the continuing work on convening the MENWFZ conference, the timeliness and expediency of such draft raise serious doubts.”
“Contrary to sceptics’ views, we’re confident that for the last year rather important progress has been achieved in this direction. During the informal meeting in Glion and Geneva the Arab countries and Israel demonstrated their readiness for searching for reasonable compromises,” Berdennikov said.
“This fact gives grounds for hoping that the remaining problems, which have not been settled yet, can be solved on a mutually acceptable basis,” he said.
“We’re convinced that despite all difficulties, the possibility of holding the MENWFZ conference this year remains. In order to make it the reality additional energetic efforts, corresponding political will together with pragmatism aimed at achieving concrete results are indispensable,” Berdennikov said.
“It is obvious that under the current circumstances, the voted draft resolution does not really coincide with the interests of holding the conference as soon as possible. It could give a start to really freeing the Middle East of weapons of mass destruction. We consider it necessary to note such assessment taking into account the fact that at the Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in 2010 the UN Secretary-General instructed Russia and other two NPT depositaries to convene the MENWFZ conference,” he said.
That is why Russia “is deeply concerned over the impact of some or other development of events on the implementation of the mandate”. “We believe that it would be much more justified and useful to adopt another resolution at this session of the IAEA General Conference - in support of immediate convocation of the conference in Helsinki,” Berdennikov said.