Comment by the Information and Press Department on US media reports that Russia does not intend to take part in preparations for the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit
In light of reports by a number of US media outlets on Russia’s refusal to participate in preparations for the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit, which is expected to be held in the United States, the Russian Foreign Ministry would like make the following statement.
Russia has always advocated enhanced nuclear security. Since 2010, the country has made an active contribution to the preparation of several summits on this issue and has consistently promoted the outcomes of these forums in various multilateral frameworks.
Final communiques were adopted at the Nuclear Security Summits in Washington in 2010, in Seoul in 2012 and in The Hague in 2014 outlining common approaches to international cooperation on this issue, along with a Joint Action Plan. A fundamental agreement was reached conferring the central role in the coordinating efforts of the international community to the IAEA, which has the requisite expertise in this matter.
Therefore, most of the political commitments undertaken by the participants of the preceding summits have been implemented. Substantial progress has been made in enhancing nuclear security. These summits have thus nearly exhausted their agenda.
Russia shared with its US colleagues its doubts regarding the added value of the 2016 forum to be held in the United States. Washington’s concept for preparing this event is a matter of grave concern. Under this concept, the hosts of the previous summits, the US, South Korea and the Netherlands, will benefit from special rights, which is discriminatory with respect to other participants who will be unable to take part in drafting the resulting documents.
Russia can’t but oppose Washington’s intention to have working groups formed arbitrarily and with limited membership devise guidelines for such international bodies and initiatives as the UN, the IAEA, the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism, the Global Partnership and Interpol. For us, it is unacceptable to create a precedent of interfering in the agenda of international bodies with greater expertise and governed by democratic procedures.
The proposed framework for preparing the Summit makes it impossible for countries that do not agree to everything imposed by the organisers to be heard when devising work plans for international bodies, which is expected to be the main outcome of the 2016 Summit in the US.
We also take note of the fact the United States has yet to join the relevant international legal frameworks, including the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and its 2005 Amendment, as well as the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism. Nevertheless, Washington is seeking to assume a central and privileged role in this field.
In view of the above, Russia does not see any possibility to take part in the preparations for the Fourth Summit on Nuclear security. Instead, we intend to focus on efforts to strengthen cooperation in the framework of the IAEA, in particular on preparations for the next IAEA high-level conference on this issue scheduled for 2016.
We informed our US partners of this decision in mid-October of this year, as well as other colleagues.
We view the recent leaks about this decision in the American media as an unsuccessful attempt to put pressure on Russia in order to change our position. We consider such efforts counterproductive.
5 November 2014