Ambassador Robert Wood
Alternate Representative for Special Political Affairs
New York, New York
March 31, 2023
Thank you, Mr. President. I apologize for taking the floor, but I need to respond to some charges that were leveled against the United States by the Representative the Russian Federation.
Frankly, there are too many ridiculous charges to respond to. Russia has totally distorted the facts surrounding the unfortunate demise of several treaties; but I will address just a couple of issues that I think are fundamentally important and that were raised.
The INF Treaty – back in 2013, the U.S. engaged Russia and made clear that we had evidence that Russia was in violation of the INF Treaty, through the deployment of a non-INF range of missile called the 9M729. Russia denied the existence of this missile. We worked very hard over the years, myself, and a number of my colleagues to try to convince Russia to come back into compliance with the INF Treaty.
In 2017, Russia finally admitted the existence of this missile but said it was not outside of the INF Treaty range. After much deliberation, internally and with allies, we decided that Russia – the U.S. ruled – Russia was in material breach of the INF Treaty. And therefore, we subsequently took a step to withdraw from the treaty, which was extremely unfortunate, but we felt we had no choice but to do that. So just wanted to make sure the record was clear on that.
With regard to the issue of nuclear sharing, this is an issue that was discussed as High Representative mentioned, back in the negotiations in the late 60s with regard to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Russia, at no time, fundamentally objected to the arrangements that NATO had already had in existence – it signed and ratified the treaty. It was only after its invasion of Crimea, that it decided to look for a reason to get out of the treaty, or to at least accused the U.S. of, in essence, violating the NPT. And so, for three decades, almost close to four decades, we heard nothing from Russia about nuclear sharing. So, it is quite strange how after all those years, Russia had no problems with it until after Crimea. So, I want to be clear about this issue of nuclear sharing because it’s quite important.
This issue of NATO nuclear sharing, as I said, was an issue that was discussed at the negotiations of the NPT. The U.S. has not – and will not violate the NPT – we are in full compliance with our obligations under the NPT. Including Article Six that was raised here.
Any suggestions that the United States is in violation of that treaty are just patently false. And the countries that raise that issue, need to read the NPT – read the negotiating history of the NPT. I have several times read it, so I fundamentally reject that charge.
My last point, Mr. President, is that we’re here to address specifically Russia’s deployment or planned deployment of nuclear weapons in Belarus. This is a fundamental threat to international peace and security.
And our Russian colleague has not explained in full what is going on with this potential deployment.
And we call on Russia to adhere to its international obligations with regard to arms control. Thank you, Mr. President.