Russia and the United States have reduced their nuclear arsenals to the level of the late 1950s, the director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s non-proliferation and weapons control department, Mikhail Ulyanov, told a news conference.
“We systematically comply with our liabilities under the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Russia and the United States have been steadily reducing their nuclear arsenals,” Ulyanov said. “We’ve cut our nuclear weapons by 80% since the Cold War peak. We stopped the nuclear arms race. The Russian and US arsenals are now where they were in the late 1950s of early 1960s.”
The diplomat said neither Russia nor other nuclear powers will take part in the talks on banning nuclear weapons.
“We share the goal of building a nuclear-free world, but the issue is how to move towards this aim. One path of taking a decision on banning nuclear weapons instantly is risky. The other one is more real – that’s a step-by-step process towards this goal,” Ulyanov said.
The Russian side is guided by the agreements reached as part of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the diplomat reminded. “These agreements envisage gradually moving towards building a nuclear-free world. This movement should be done so that strategic stability and equal security for all are maintained in the world,” he said.
“We are fully committed to this thesis. We believe that an attempt to bury it in oblivion or revise it is counterproductive,” Ulyanov stressed. “It is evident that neither Russia nor other nuclear powers will participate in the negotiations on banning nuclear weapons,” he added.