Absence of Nuclear Arms Control Dialogue Facilitates Terrorists’ Access to Nuclear Weapons - Expert

A two-day conference convened by the International Luxembourg Forum on Preventing Nuclear Catastrophe will discuss how to resume a Russian-U.S dialogue on nuclear arms cuts, Academician Alexei Arbatov, a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences and vice-chairman of one of the Luxembourg Forum’s committees, said on Tuesday.

"Ukraine’s relations with the United States is a source of our great concern. But apart from the crises in Ukraine and Syria, there is also a third one - a comprehensive and profound crisis of the nuclear arms control system," the Russian expert explained.

The fact that the great powers are refusing to discuss the reduction of nuclear weapons makes a possibility of its use highly probable. "The absence of cooperation among the great powers in the non-proliferation and reduction of nuclear weapons is increasing the risks that terrorist organizations may gain easy access to nuclear arms," Arbatov emphasized.

He said it was impossible to wait for the situation to improve and become favourable for resuming the dialogue because the crisis in the nuclear non-proliferation sphere is a vital factor, which makes relations worse.

"We are going to discuss what has caused the current crisis and its core. We will also try to find a way out," the Luxembourg Forum’s vice-chairman said. He added that the experts would also discuss how to prevent terrorists from gaining access to weapons of mass destruction.

The Forum was established pursuant to a decision of the International Conference on Preventing Nuclear Catastrophe held in Luxembourg on May 24-25, 2007. The Forum is one of the largest non-governmental organisations uniting leading, world-renowned experts on non-proliferation of nuclear arms and arms reduction and limitation.

The Forum’s priorities are:

• To facilitate the process of arms limitation and reduction of nuclear weapons, counteract growing threats to the nuclear non-proliferation regime and erosion of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), including the escalating danger of nuclear terrorism and attempts by separate states to gain access to nuclear materials and technologies;

• To promote international peace and security through new approaches, and propose to decision-makers practical solutions to non-proliferation and arms control critical issues.

The principal guiding bodies of the Forum are the International Advisory Council (IAC) and the Supervisory Council (SC).

The International Advisory Council consists of more than 40 leading experts from many countries. IAC members make proposals on the Forum’s agenda, arrange events and participate in drafting the Forum’s final documents (declarations, memoranda, statements etc.), which are distributed among top-tier politicians, heads of international organisations and public figures around the globe.

Source: TASS