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UNITED NATIONS, April 27. /TASS/. The Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference opens in the UN headquarters in New York on Monday. Representatives of NPT signatory countries and international organizations will discuss the prospects of disarmament for the next four weeks. Experts say the talks in New York will definitely be affected by the geopolitical situation in the world.
The Russian delegation is headed by Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov. The Russian Foreign Ministry said Moscow expected the conference to confirm the viability of the treaty. Head of the Department for non-proliferation and weapons control at the Russian Foreign Ministry Mikhail Ulyanov said "nuclear disarmament and creating a nuclear weapon free zone in the Middle East will be on the agenda of the conference."
"It would be perfect if a final document is adopted, but there will be no tragedy if this doesn’t happen," Ulyanov noted. "Only half of review conferences end with adopting such documents," he added.
On April 22, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that US’ deployment of tactical nuclear forces in Europe is a violation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. "More than that, NATO has a program which allows citizens of these [European] countries and other NATO members, apart from the United States, to service and acquire skills to handle the systems of tactical nuclear forces," Lavrov noted, adding that "this is a very serious threat to NPT."
US Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Rose Gottemoeller said she hopes Russia will agree to continue reducing strategic arms in the framework of the START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty). The West will raise the question of Russia’s compliance with the Budapest Memorandum at the conference, she added.