MOSCOW, November 17. /TASS/. An agreement on the establishment of a Middle East zone free of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) will be an achievement of major significance, if reached at an upcoming United Nations conference, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the Vienna-based international organizations Mikhail Ulyanov said in an interview with the Kommersant daily.
"The establishment of such a zone will be a serious contribution to the efforts towards enhancing the nonproliferation regime, which is in Russia’s national interests. If the process gets off the ground and gains positive dynamics, and if it is crowned by a practical result - a draft agreement ready for signing, it will be an achievement of major significance," he said.
Speaking about the importance of the United Nations Conference on the Establishment of a Middle East Zone Free of Nuclear Weapons and Other Weapons of Mass Destruction due on November 18-22 for Russia, Ulyanov stressed that Russia along with the United States and the United Kingdom "bear special responsibility because back in 1995 we undertook to promote the establishment of a WMD-free zone in the Middle East."
"Russia’s honest and open position" on the establishment of such a zone in the Middle East enhances its reputation in that region. "Notably, we are not at odds with Israel. We have no acute disputes with the Israeli on this matter. They understand that we are doing it because we are a guarantor of the 1995 agreements and advocate nuclear nonproliferation," he stressed.
The United Nations Conference on the Establishment of a Middle East Zone Free of Nuclear Weapons and Other Weapons of Mass Destruction will be held in New York on November 18-22. The conference will be the first step towards practical implementation of the 1995 United Nations General Assembly resolution on a WMD-free zone in the Middle East that was passed at the Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). The implementation of this resolution has been delayed due to various reasons. Thus, in 2010 the United States did not support the final document of the Review Conference that called on Israel to join the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and place all its nuclear facilities under comprehensive control of the International Atomic Nuclear Agency.
Russia calls for the launch of dialogue on that matter between all the countries of the region and supports the decision to organize the United Nations-brokered conference.