On behalf of the delegation of Ukraine allow me to congratulate you, Mr. Chair, and other members of the Bureau on your election.
We look forward to continued discussion on recommendations for achieving the objective of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation of nuclear-weapons; and on practical confidence-building measures in the field of conventional weapons.
Ukraine regards the NPT as the cornerstone of the global nuclear non-proliferation regime and renders comprehensive support to its effective implementation, further strengthening and universalization.
21 year ago – in Moscow on 14 January 1994 the Presidents of Ukraine, the United States of America and the Russian Federation signed a Trilateral Statement, where the arrangements on practical realization of the decision of Ukraine to renounce nuclear weapons and become a non-nuclear-weapon state were envisaged. At the same time the 20th anniversary of Ukraine’s decision to renounce nuclear weapons took place against the background of the aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine, occupation and annexation of its territory in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and destabilization of the situation in the eastern regions of Ukraine. Such actions of the Russian Federation is a grave violation of the imperative norms of international law, the Charter of the United Nations, the Helsinki Final Act and a number of bilateral and multilateral agreements, which ensured the territorial integrity of Ukraine, inviolability of its borders and non-interference in the domestic affairs.
Such actions were especially cynical as they were committed by the state-guarantor of the territorial integrity and political independence of Ukraine under the Memorandum on Security Assurances in Connection with Ukraine’s Accession to the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, signed in Budapest, on December 5, 1994.
In particular, the State-signatories to the Memorandum «reaffirmed their obligation to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine, and that none of their weapons will ever be used against Ukraine except in self-defence or otherwise in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations».
We deem necessary to emphasize that the aforementioned Memorandum was signed in connection with Ukraine’s adherence to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons as a non-nuclear-weapon state and in pursuance of its commitments to eliminate all nuclear weapons from its territory within the specified period of time. Ukraine fully met these commitments. Since the provisions of the Budapest Memorandum have been totally neglected and brutally violated by the Russian Federation as one of its States-signatories, we call on the Conference on Disarmament to urgently develop and conclude a multilateral legally binding instrument in order to provide security assurances to non-nuclear-weapon States against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons.
While emphasizing the importance of the implementation of the 2010 NPT RevCon decisions, Ukraine would also like to render its support to the establishment of a zone free of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East. We consider convening a conference on this issue as one of the priority tasks, successful implementation of which will increase the level of regional and international security and strengthen the nuclear non-proliferation regime.
In this context we also encourage the universalization of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty’s (CTBT) with a view that its entry into force will constitute a tangible stride in attaining the noble objective of a safe and peaceful world free of nuclear weapons. It is of the greatest importance that the integrity of the norms set out by the CTBT is respected. Not playing down the importance of the ongoing voluntary moratoriums on nuclear weapon tests which are highly valuable, they are not a substitute for a binding global ban. In this regard, we call on the relevant Member States to urgently ratify the CTBT.
Ukraine continues to support the development of the IAEA safeguards system and calls on all NPT Parties that have not yet done so, to conclude and strictly implement comprehensive safeguards agreements with the IAEA and to conclude and put into effect Additional Protocols.
We condemn recent statements by Russian officials that they have the right to deploy nuclear weapons on the territory of the temporarily occupied Crimea. Such action clearly infringes the non-nuclear status of Ukraine and violates the obligations of Russia under the NPT provisions.
Moreover, the Russian side seized Ukraine’s nuclear facilities, installations and materials, located in Crimea in contradiction to the IAEA Statute.
Actions of the Russian Federation as a nuclear state pose a direct threat to the international regime established by the NPT, which Ukraine adhered to as a state that does not possess nuclear weapons.Worthwhile mentioning that further lack of progress in the implementation of the Strategic Offensive Reduction Treaty by the Russian side hampers the nuclear disarmament process.
We also continue to insist that negotiating and concluding the Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty (FMCT) will be essential both to constrain nuclear proliferation and to advance the goal of nuclear disarmament.
My country is a long term responsible participant of such pan-European, sub-regional and complimentary bilateral confidence-building mechanisms relevant to arms control as the CFE and the Open Skies treaties, Vienna Document on CSBMs, as well as separate bilateral agreements on CSBMs with neighboring Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and Belarus. On March 10, 2014 we signed an Agreement on bilateral CSBMs with Romania. Regrettably our numerous proposals to enter into similar agreements with Russia were rejected by the Russian side under the pretext of a strategic partnership between our countries.
Russia is consciously misinterpreting the international law by the so called “suspension of membership” in the CFE. Such attitude hinders the negotiations on the control over the conventional weapons in Europe.
It is also a clear signal of insincerity of intentions aimed at gaining unilateral benefits and unwillingness to adhere to its international obligations.
Sharing dissatisfaction with the ongoing impasse in conventional arms control in Europe, which occurred through the fault of Russian leadership, as well as with the slowdown in the Vienna Document’s CSBMs improvement my country initiated during its 2013 OSCE Chairmanship discussion on the role that conventional arms control and CSBMs can play in modern and future security architecture.
The salient idea and the main goal of Ukraine’s longstanding initiative is to create a future oriented strategic discussion on conventional arms control and CSBMs without prejudging its outcome.
While the discussions have not provided yet a firm indication as to the concrete next steps, Ukraine’s initiative proved to be a timely undertaking, and has already found support, in particular from the OSCE Chairmanship.