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Belarus’ contribution to nuclear disarmament recognized by international community

MINSK, 22 July (BelTA) – Belarus’ contribution to nuclear disarmament has been recognized by the international community and reaffirmed by various international instruments, reads the statement of the Belarusian Foreign Ministry on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the accession to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), BelTA learnt from the press service of the Belarusian Foreign Ministry.

Belarus was the first state that voluntarily renounced the nuclear weapons left after the collapse of the Soviet Union, without any preconditions or reservations. The withdrawal of nuclear weapons from the territory of the country was fully completed in November 1996.

“Belarus’ decision "actually set the tone for" the next steps in nuclear disarmament in the former Soviet Union, which radically changed the dynamics of disarmament processes and opened the way for new initiatives in the designated direction” reads the statement.

The Ministry also noted that "Belarus assumes that the obligations of the states to pursue negotiations on effective measures relating to nuclear disarmament is the main strategic objective of the Treaty, and calls for a balanced and incremental approach to nuclear disarmament, making the process multilateral and irreversible.”

Considering the NPT as one of the cornerstones of the system of international security and strategic stability, Belarus intends to continue to contribute to strengthening the global nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament regime.

Twenty years ago Belarus acceded to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. Having signed in 1992, together with Kazakhstan and Ukraine, the Lisbon Protocol to the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty between the USSR and the United States of 1991, Belarus had undertaken to accede to the NPT as a non-nuclear-weapon state, and became a full member of START before it expired in December 2009.