Russia to observe all international norms applied to nuclear weapons

Russia is going to adhere strictly to the international norms applied to nuclear weapons, State Duma Chairman Gennady Seleznyov announced during a Thursday meeting with members of an international movement called Doctors of the World for Prevention of Nuclear War.

"It is Russia's position of principle to observe all international agreements dealing with reduction of and control over nuclear weapons," said the speaker of the parliament's lower house. He reminded the assembly that the State Duma had ratified the Russia-US Treaty of Strategic Offensive Reductions on May 14.

He promised all-round support to the movement on a parliamentary level.

Russia is currently engrossed in an all-out effort to negotiate with North Korea, who has recently announced an intention to withdraw from all international agreements dealing with strategic weapons, reported Seleznyov. He added it was wrong to provoke countries to such undertakings, meaning the United States' actions in respect of North Korea.

On his part, a US representative present at the meeting admitted the US-led military campaign against Iraq could prompt certain countries to start accumulating nuclear weapons to ensure their safety.

He also said many Americans were at odds with George Bush's military policy. According to his words, it is Russia, who must use every opportunity to persuade these countries to drop their nuclear programs.

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