WASHINGTON, December 17. / TASS /. The US leadership believes that a successful Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), which is going to take place in New York in January, is likely to facilitate the US-Russian arms control negotiations, International Security and Nonproliferation Bureau Senior Advisor Thomas Countryman told TASS on Friday.
According to Countryman, the US will regard reaching a consensus during the conference as a success. The US official noted that it would "remind Moscow and Washington that the world is watching." "It reminds both countries that a nuclear war would have effects that are not limited to Russia and the United States but would have severe consequences for the entire world," he said.
As Countryman stated, the positive outcome of the New York talks will give "some undefined momentum" to the US-Russian bilateral negotiations. The US official pointed out that this would remind the parties of "their obligations" and "ask them to work harder and faster."
"It doesn't change dramatically the difficulty of those discussions," the American official went on to say, referring to the contacts between Russia and the US. Meanwhile, he mentioned that he "does not want to exaggerate" the contribution of the conference.
The Review Conference of the Parties to the NPT takes place every five years. The tenth meeting was scheduled for May 2020 in New York but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It will likely to be held from January 4 to 28, 2022.
US approach to the conference
At the briefing, Countryman stated that during the upcoming conference, the US would strive for a positive outcome, including the consensus of all parties, which significantly contributes to boosting three fundamental areas, namely, disarmament, non-proliferation and peaceful use of nuclear technologies.
"Let me note <…> that success <...> and the consensus at the conference will give some momentum to arms control negotiations between the US and the Russian Federation and will help nonproliferation challenges that the world faces and it should advance the expansion of sharing of peaceful uses technology for the developing world," the US senior advisor said.
Earlier, Countryman served as Assistant Secretary for International Security and Nonproliferation. In recent years, he was Chairman of the Board of Directors of the non-governmental Arms Control Association.