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Nuclear Disarmament, WMD Non-proliferation and Export Control

Belarus pursues consistent policy in the sphere of Nuclear Disarmament, WMD Non-proliferation and Export Control.

Belarus declared its intention to make its territory nuclear-free in 1990 in the Declaration on State Sovereignty. By singing the Lisbon Protocol in 1992, Belarus became party to the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START). This step was inseparably linked to the major political decision to accede to the Non-Proliferation Treaty as a non-nuclear-weapon State Party.

In July 1993, Belarus formally acceded to the NPT, thus becoming the first country to voluntarily denounce the possibility to possess nuclear weapons inherited from the former Soviet Union. Welcoming the accession of Belarus to the NPT as a non nuclear weapon state Russia, UK and USA provided security assurances to Belarus and signed on 5 December 1994 Budapest Memorandum

The withdrawal of nuclear weapons from the territory of Belarus was completed in November 1996.

Belarus views that obligation of the nuclear weapon states under NPT Article VI to pursue negotiations on effective measures relating to nuclear disarmament constitutes main strategic goal of the Treaty. We support reasonable and phased approach to nuclear disarmament. Belarus welcomed the signature by Russia and USA of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) in 2010 as a next step on the path to nuclear arms reduction and stands for its extension in February 2021.

Belarus is ready to develop and strengthen the mechanisms of the NPT, to increase its effectiveness and promote consensus-based outcomes of the NPT Review Conference which was scheduled for 2020, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic it was postponed to 2021 (held on five-year basis).

Having been a full-fledged party to the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) since 1992, our country withdrew 584 intermediate-range and shorter-range missiles with a subsequent liquidation on the firing grounds of the former USSR.

Belarus considered INF Treaty as one of the most important element of the modern architecture of the international and regional security and regretted its termination in August 2019. With a view to filling the legal vacuum after the Treaty’s termination President Aleksandr Lukashenko put forward an initiative on adoption of a multilateral political declaration on non-deployment of intermediate-range and shorter-range missiles in Europe. 

The Republic of Belarus ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) on May 13, 2000 and stands for its immediate implementation. 

Belarus takes an active part in the activities of the Committee of the UN General Assembly related to the issues of international security and disarmament. Our country is a traditional author of the UN General Assembly resolution on prohibition of the development and manufacture of new types of weapons of mass destruction and new systems of such weapons. Belarus is the co-sponsor of a number of other UN GA resolutions related to the most pressing issues of international security and disarmament, including those initiated by the Non-Aligned Movement.

Belarus takes active part in the work of other UN specialized forums on disarmament and international security, i.e. the UN Disarmament Commission (New York) and the Conference on Disarmament (Geneva). In 2020 our country is a member of the Bureau of the Conference on Disarmament, and in August-September of this year will preside at the Conference.

The country is a member of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction (CWC) and the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction (BTWC).

Belarus has adopted necessary national legislation in line with the provisions of these conventions. The CWC National Authority has been set up with its functions being assigned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The national contact point for the implementation of the BTWC has been established which is the Center for epidemiology and microbiology.

Proliferation of weapon of mass destruction (WMD) – poses danger to international security and stability.Belarus consistently supports the efforts of international community to counter WMD proliferation (nuclear, chemical, biological weapons and means of their delivery) and prevent terrorists from getting WMD.

Belarus has supported the adoption of the UN Security Council Resolution 1540 (2004) on the prevention of WMD proliferation and has submitted to the UN Security Council relevant reports on measures taken at national level.

Our country in cooperation with the relevant state bodies and with the assistance of the OSCE Conflict Prevention Centre, the 1540 Committee and the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs has elaborated a national framework document/“road map” for additional measures to implement the resolution 1540 and actively promote its implementation in the region.

Belarus recognizes the role of international export control regimes as one of the instruments for curbing the illicit proliferation of nuclear materials, equipment and technology. Belarus has been a member of Nuclear Suppliers Group since 2000. Belarus adheres to the ruling principles of the group when it makes decisions on the  supplies of controlled items. In 2010 Belarus’ membership in Zangger Committee was formalized. Belarus supports objectives and principles of three other international export control regimes – The Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), The Wassenaar Arrangement (WA) and the Australia Group.

Belarus is one of the co-founders of The Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation (HCOC). Our country is one of the Code’s co-founders and regularly prepares and submits annual declarations on the absence of missile programme and on the participation in the international non-proliferation efforts. 

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