Russia Believes Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Should Come Into Force in Near Future

Russia believes that the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty should come into force as soon as possible.

Last night, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Georgy Mamedov received Wolfgang Hoffman, Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, who is in Moscow for a working visit, the Russian Foreign Ministry's information and press department reported on Thursday.

"The parties discussed the situation around the Treaty in the broad context of the current tense atmosphere in the world, which makes it especially important to re-inforce international legal and multilateral instruments for counteracting the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction," the ministry pointed out.

The sides agreed on the need to apply active diplomatic pressure on the countries that had not yet ratified or signed the Treaty, but could influence its coming into force. Besides, the parties also agreed that it was unacceptable to substitute political work in the legal field with intimidation campaigns and deliberately forced counter-proliferation, the ministry emphasised.

Wolfgang Hoffman gave a high assessment to Russia's "active and principled" position on reinforcing the nuclear non-proliferation regime.

The talks laid a special emphasis on the importance of the third September 2003 Conference to assist the Treaty's coming into force, the ministry reported.

Hoffman also expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to visit the central testing ground on Novaya Zemlya, which testified that "Russia is open in the issues of nuclear disarmament, adheres to the spirit and letter of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty," the ministry added.

The Executive Secretary's visit to Russia will last till March 29.