European Union Office to Hong Kong and Macao

Declaration by the High Representative on behalf of the EU on the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty

Geneva, 14/07/2019 - 00:00, UNIQUE ID: 190715_4
Statements by the HR/VP

The European Union calls on all States to uphold the integrity of the rules-based international system with effective multilateralism as a key principle. This is indispensable for maintaining international peace and security. We are concerned that the international disarmament and non-proliferation regime is under great strain. 

Bearing in mind the severe and increasingly volatile security environment, we stress the need to preserve and further advance general arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation processes and call for further progress on all aspects of disarmament and non-proliferation to enhance global security. The viability and effectiveness of arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation agreements require that those agreements be fully complied with and enforced.

In this context, we highlight the importance of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty which has made a significant contribution to European security and broader international security over the past 30 years. Almost three thousand missiles with nuclear and conventional warheads were removed from European soil and verifiably destroyed, constituting a tangible contribution by the two nuclear weapon States with the largest arsenals to the implementation of their disarmament related obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). 

We are deeply concerned over developments with regard to the INF Treaty, which could end on 2 August 2019. We regret the formalisation of Russia’s suspension of its obligations under the INF Treaty on 3 July 2019. We strongly urge the Russian Federation to effectively address the serious concerns repeatedly expressed about the development, flight testing and deployment of its ground-based missile system 9M729 and the serious concerns this has raised about non-compliance with the INF Treaty. In that regard, substantial and transparent actions must be taken immediately to ensure full and verifiable compliance with the INF Treaty provisions. The upcoming days represent the last opportunity for dialogue and taking the necessary measures to preserve this important component of European security architecture. 

The European Union reaffirms its longstanding commitment to verifiable and effective treaty-based nuclear arms control and disarmament. We therefore encourage the preservation of the INF Treaty achievements. Given the heightened tensions, we must be careful not to enter the path of a new arms race that would offset the significant reductions achieved after the end of the Cold War. We encourage the United States and the Russian Federation to seek further reductions to their arsenals, including strategic and non-strategic, deployed and non-deployed nuclear weapons, taking into account the special responsibility of the States that possess the largest nuclear arsenals. We would welcome early and active dialogue on the future of New START post-2021, and on other arms control arrangements.

Press contacts

Maja Kocijančič
EEAS spokesperson
+32 2 298 65 70
+32 498 98 44 25
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