Remarks by the delegation of the Russian Federation during the IAEA Board of Governors session on the agenda item “Implementation of the Safeguards Agreement related to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in the Syrian Arab Republic,” Vienna, June 6, 2018
We regret that the politically charged discussion of this agenda item, provoked by a group of Western countries, continues to poisons the atmosphere in the Board of Governors, eroding international trust in the IAEA safeguards. According to the IAEA Director General’s 2017 report on the implementation of safeguards, Damascus is fulfilling all its responsibilities under the NPT Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement. Syria has not violated its non-proliferation responsibilities, so there is no objective reason for the Board to discuss the “Syria file”.
The Secretariat has failed to convince the IAEA member states that the destroyed object near Deir ez-Zor “was highly likely a nuclear reactor.” Developments around the JCPOA once again show that, unfortunately, some states only regard the IAEA safeguards and the non-proliferation regime as a tool for manipulation and achieving their selfish political goals. We hope that the new leadership of the IAEA Secretariat Department of Safeguards will be able to resist such ambitions and dispel the speculation about proliferation challenges allegedly related to Syria coming from a number of states with political agendas. We see no such challenges; and the international community is coming to see that the arguments of those vainly trying to strike a blow at Damascus are plainly implausible. Their own societies do not believe them, as media reports and their own journalists’ investigations have affirmed.
We hope that Western countries will drop the practice of issuing threats and ultimatums to countries they do not approve of, and return to joint international efforts aimed at strengthening the global nuclear non-proliferation regime.
Thank you, Mr Chairman.