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Bilateral nuclear disarmament has exhausted itself, says Lavrov

It should be made multilateral and based on the principle of integral and indivisible security, the Russian Foreign Minister believes

GENEVA, March 20. /TASS/. The process of nuclear weapons reduction on the bilateral Russian-US basis has exhausted itself and should be made multilateral, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told the Disarmament Conference on Wednesday.

"As the INF Treaty crisis has shown, nuclear disarmament progress on the bilateral Russian-US basis has exhausted itself. Time is ripe to give serious thought to how to make the nuclear weapons control process multilateral and acceptable for all countries involved," he said.

Lavrov sees the basis of a multilateral process in the principle of integral and indivisible security.

"It makes no sense to consider nuclear disarmament separately from the entire combination of factors that have negative effects on strategic stability," Lavrov said, adding that all of Russia’s weapons control proposals remained in force.

"In the meantime, instead of a constructive response we have been hearing only speculations about a resumption of nuclear tests, deployment of attacks systems in space and even of the possibility of starting a limited nuclear war," he said.

Lavrov pointed out that such a possibility was utterly unacceptable to Russia and most other countries.

"It may become a reality, though, if we fail to jointly identify a sound alternative to the destabilization of the international situation, to the further aggravation of contradictions among states and to upsetting the existing system of multilateral weapons control agreements," he warned.