Delegation of the European Union
to the United Nations - New York

 

EU Explanation of Vote: United Nations General Assembly: Draft Resolution on Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty

New York, 21/12/2018 - 19:02, UNIQUE ID: 181221_12
Statements on behalf of the EU

21 December 2018, New York – European Union Explanation of Vote at the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly on the draft Resolution entitled: Preservation of and compliance with the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty - Agenda item 101

Madame President,

 

I have the honour to speak on behalf of the EU and its Member States.

The Candidate Countries Turkey, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, Montenegro* and Albania*, as well as Georgia, align themselves with this statement.

  1. The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty constitutes a pillar of European security for the last three decades. Although not a single EU Member State is a party to this Treaty, they all benefit from the protection and stability it provides. Thanks to the INF Treaty, almost three thousand missiles with nuclear and conventional warheads have been removed and verifiably destroyed. Its preservation as a viable treaty is of crucial importance to us. It has formed also a tangible contribution by the two nuclear-weapon States to the fulfilment of their disarmament obligations under Article VI of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
  2. The EU stands firmly for the preservation of and compliance with the INF Treaty. For this, constructive dialogue between the United States and the Russian Federation is necessary in order to address compliance concerns in a substantial and transparent way. This resolution does not help to preserve the INF Treaty, but diverts attention from the real issue at stake. Thus the EU and its Member States are not in a position to support it.
  3. The EU and its MS have repeatedly raised concerns about Russian compliance with the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty. Only this year, during the second session of the NPT PrepCom in April 2018, as well as during the nuclear cluster thematic debate at UNGA First Committee session back in October, we noted that "a Russian missile system raises serious concerns regarding Russian compliance with the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty” and urged Russia “to address these concerns in a substantial and transparent way".  We understand that Russia has offered no credible response yet.
  4. Once again, Madame President, we call to preserve the INF Treaty and ensure its full and verifiable implementation. Russia must demonstrate its compliance with the Treaty not by presenting to the UNGA draft resolutions such as the one before us, but in a substantial and transparent way and engage in constructive dialogue with the US, again not via the UNGA, but through the dialogue platform provided for by the Treaty itself and applying the necessary measures of verification.
  5. Erosion of the INF will have serious consequences on the security of its States-Parties and Europe, but also on the whole world. The two nuclear-weapon States with the biggest nuclear arsenals bear a special responsibility when it comes to nuclear arms control and disarmament.

 

Thank you.

 

* The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.

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