Inter-American problems and regional policy
Comment by the Information and Press Department on the outcome of the UNGA First Committee vote to consider Russia’s draft resolution on the INF Treaty
We are deeply disappointed by the outcome of the vote in the First Committee of the UN General Assembly on the issue of submitting for consideration Russia’s draft resolution in support of the INF Treaty. It is puzzling that work on the document, the importance of which can not be questioned, has been blocked under such a far-fetched procedural pretext. There is no merit to the attempt to justify the refusal to hold a substantive discussion of Russia’s initiative by citing the expiration of the deadline for submitting drafts given that these are force majeure circumstances, which prompted us to turn to the international community for assistance to keep the INF in place following unexpected US statements on its plans to unilaterally withdraw from the Treaty.
As a result, the matter was never meaningfully discussed. Furthermore, 55 countries, in fact, opposed the very idea of the First Committee even considering the possibility of maintaining the viability of the INF Treaty, although it is clearly a central element of the global architecture for nuclear missile control. The states that regularly complain from high tribunes about the “lack of progress on nuclear disarmament” and show themselves eager proponents of observing international treaties look particularly out of place on that list. However, in this case, for some reason they choose not to notice that the INF Treaty is in direct jeopardy as a result of Washington’s short-sighted and destructive actions and that such developments may now have a negative impact on the START Treaty.
Regrettably, a number of states abstained from voting or avoided it altogether. Clearly, they are not fully aware of what is going on. This Treaty concluded by Moscow and Washington is directly related to maintaining international security and global strategic stability, as well as the normal functioning of non-proliferation agreements. All of that concerns not only the direct participants of the INF Treaty, but each international community member as well. The collapse of a disarmament agreement has never served to strengthen collective security.
We are grateful to all those who demonstrated an independent position and a responsible approach to strengthening arms control mechanisms, stability and security, showing their readiness to work with the draft resolution proposed by Russia in order to support the viability of the INF. With an eye towards continuing political and diplomatic efforts to support the Treaty, we look forward to further constructive interaction with these countries. We are convinced that it is not too late for those states which are not ready to take concrete steps in order to preserve the INF, to reconsider their approach and join in this work.