Quod licet Jovi, non licet bovi

The USA treats international agreements flexibly
A remarkable event happened on Monday in the Hague: delegates from over 75 countries of the world signed an international “code of conduct” intended to control the spread of ballistic missiles capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction. In 1999, Russia had suggested that a uniform “system of global control” over missile weapons must be created, which would oblige all countries to inform about any launching of missiles and space vehicles. France, Great Britain, and the USA unconditionally supported the idea. Asian countries (India, Pakistan, and others) also welcomed the suggestion. However, when it came to signing the document, India, Pakistan, North Korea, Israel, Iran, and Syria refused to sign it. They explained their refusal with the statement that control over their missile programs would cause damage to their national security. No sanctions were placed against those countries who refuse to sign the code, as it isn’t an international document. Brussels thinks that the code signed on Monday will become the first document that will result in a definite prohibition of ballistic missiles proliferation.

As is said, the first step is the hardest; it is more important that the countries be willing to cooperate. And this turned out to be quite a problem during the yesterday’s signing of the code. The USA played a trick as soon as the document was signed: US Undersecretary of State John Bolton stated that the USA doesn’t consider itself strictly bound by the code’s regulations. In his words, “the USA, like other countries, understands that the obligations stated in the code don’t restrict our right to take measures in this sphere necessary to guarantee our national security in accordance with the US security strategy. It includes our ability to guarantee our containment mechanism, as well as our ability to repulse any aggression with weapons of mass destruction.” He added that the USA “flexibly interpreted” one more paragraph of the missile code. It reserves the right to launch missiles and space vehicles under war conditions without an notification to the countries that also signed the document.

To tell the truth, it’s no surprise that the USA acted so strange in this situation. It alters any international agreement for its own purposes. For instance, there is the convention on the prohibition of chemical weapons prohibition, which was several times violated by the USA; the creation of the International Criminal Court; etc.

Dmitry Litvinovich PRAVDA.Ru

Translated by Maria Gousseva

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