Deputy Assistant Secretary Marcie B. Ries today announced the United States priorities for the NPT.
At the high level workshop against nuclear tests, Ms. Ries highlighted that the United States is proud to be at the leading edge of nuclear transparency efforts.
The United States is publically declaring our nuclear stockpile numbers; participating in voluntary and treaty-based inspections measures; and working with other nations on military to military, scientific and lab exchanges, and site visits.” -Ms. Ries
Ms. Ries hoped that all countries will join in the common effort to increase transparency and build mutual confidence. She said confidence-building, at its very core, is a shared effort.
She stressed that the High Level Workshop will dicuss discuss regarding U.S. priorities in moving forward, including our efforts to advance the 2010 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference Action Plan.
“The New START Treaty entered into force on February 5th of this year. Implementation of the Treaty is so far going well. It continues to be a bright spot in the U.S.-Russian relationship. So far, the process of Treaty implementation has been very pragmatic, professional, and positive – a continuation of the positive working relationship we established during the negotiations in Geneva.” -Ms. Ries
She noted that when the Treaty is fully implemented, it will result in the lowest number of strategic nuclear warheads deployed by the United States and the Russian Federation since the 1950s, the first full decade of the nuclear age.
She pointed out that the United States and Russia have exchanged data, held exhibitions, and notified each other on the status of our strategic forces.
“In fact, we have exchanged more than 1,000 notifications since February. We also have begun conducting on-site inspections. To date, the United States has conducted eight on-site inspections in Russia and Russia has conducted seven in the United States since the period for New START Treaty inspections began on April 6.” -Ms. Ries
She emphasized that the access and information derived from this Treaty provide important predictability and stability in the U.S.-Russian nuclear relationship. She explained that without this access and information, the risks of miscalculations, misunderstandings, and mistrust would be greater.
Ms. Ries underscored that the United States is committed to continuing a step-by-step process, as outlined by President Obama in Prague in 2009, to reduce the overall number of nuclear weapons, including the pursuit of a future agreement with Russia for broad reductions in all categories of nuclear weapons – strategic, non-strategic, deployed and non-deployed.
“We would also like to increase transparency on a reciprocal basis with Russia. We are in the process of thinking through how this and other such transparency measures might be implemented. We will consult with our NATO allies and invite Russia to join with us to develop an initiative, including examination of potential reciprocal actions that could be taken in parallel by the United States and Russia.” -Ms. Ries
Ms. Ries also stressed that the United States is committed to pursuing U.S. ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) and to its entry into force at the earliest possible date.
“Entry into force of the CTBT is an essential step toward the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.” -Ms. Ries