UN panel rejects Russian proposal on nuclear treaty

55 member states voted against the debate while 31


Afp October 27, 2018
The United Nations General Assembly in session. PHOTO: AFP

UNITED NATIONS, UNITED STATES: A UN General Assembly panel rejected Friday Russia's proposal to debate its resolution on preserving the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) that the US plans to pull out of.

Fifty-five countries on a General Assembly committee specialising in disarmament voted against putting the debate on the agenda, while 31 voted in favor and there were 54 abstentions.

Several of the countries that abstained argued the issue was more a matter for the UN Security Council.

Moscow wants UN resolution to preserve nuclear arms treaty

Russia let it be known that it had not ruled out submitting its draft to the UN's highest body, despite the fact that the United States exercises veto powers there.

Moscow could also propose its draft to the 193-country UN General Assembly without first receiving approval from the disarmament committee.

Security Council resolutions are binding, however, whereas those passed in the General Assembly are not.

"The international community has an obligation to react to this apocalyptic situation," a Russian diplomat said in response to

Washington's recent announcement that it planned to pull out of the treaty, signed in 1987 by US president Ronald Reagan and the Soviet Union's last leader, Mikhail Gorbachev.

Moscow's draft resolution, released to the media, "calls on Russia and the United States to pursue consultation in respect of their obligations conforming to the INF."

It also calls for the resumption of "a constructive dialogue on strategic questions, based on the principles of openness and mutual respect."
And it expresses hope that "the dialogue will contribute to subsequent progress in the reduction of nuclear arms and the strengthening of international security and stability."

The draft also calls for "strict and entire respect" for the treaty and asks "all signatory states to exert efforts to reinforce the INF treaty and preserve its efficiency."

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In also proposes "supplementary cooperation measures to strengthen trust" and the "implementation of the INF treaty."

US President Donald Trump announced last weekend that the US would pull out of the INF treaty, which prohibits nuclear missiles with a range of 310 to 3,100 miles.

Washington has accused Moscow of violating the accord years.
Moscow officials have said the US has committed "flagrant violations" of the treaty and Russian President Vladimir Putin warned the US decision to pull out could cause a 'dangerous' situation. Trump and Putin are due to meet in Paris on November 11.

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