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Statement by the Republic of Lithuania at the 10th Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT)

Created: 2022.08.04 / Updated: 2022.08.04 17:58

Statement by the Republic of Lithuania at the 10th Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) on Wednesday, 3 August 2022.

Mr. President,

Let me congratulate you on the assumption of your duties as the President of the 10th NPT Review Conference and take this opportunity to thank you for your dedicated efforts to finally convene this Review Conference. Let me also assure you of the strongest support of the Lithuanian delegation. 
Lithuania aligns itself with the statement made on behalf of the EU. In our national capacity, I would like to stress the following.

Our common goal remains to preserve and strengthen the NPT as a cornerstone of global security architecture. Lithuania reiterates its support to all three NPT pillars - nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation, and the peaceful use of nuclear energy - as a fundamental international instrument for global peace, security and stability. 

We are committed to working towards a meaningful outcome of the Review Conference that would have Parties reaffirm the commitment to the NPT and recognize its enduring benefits. We call on all States to do their utmost to achieve a successful Review Conference.

We condemn in the strongest possible terms Russia, and its shameful accomplice Belarus, for waging a war of aggression against their peaceful and democratic neighbour Ukraine. Russia has continued to diversify its nuclear arsenal. It has also deployed a suite of short- and intermediate-range missile systems that Russia is using in its war against Ukraine. Russia’s aggressive and irresponsible nuclear rhetoric directly contradicts Russia’s role as a P5 state as well as the commitment it made in the P5 Leaders’ Statement on Preventing Nuclear War and Avoiding Arms Races last January. Russia’s aggression also poses serious and direct threats to the safety and security of Ukrainian nuclear facilities, and impedes the IAEA from fully and safely conducting safeguards verification activities in Ukraine. We strongly urge Russia to immediately cease its military actions, to immediately and unconditionally withdraw all its troops from the entire territory of Ukraine, to cease its irresponsible and dangerous nuclear rhetoric and behaviour, including withdrawing its military and other personnel from the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, and to uphold its international commitments.

Mr. President,

Russia has violated the 1994 Budapest memorandum, under which the nuclear weapon States reaffirmed their commitment to respect the independence, sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine. 

The same memorandum also gave security assurances to Belarus after it declared its territory nuclear-free in 1990 in the Declaration on State Sovereignty and acceded to the NPT as a non-nuclear State Party in 1992. Therefore, we are very concerned by irresponsible public statements made by Belarus expressing its readiness to host Russia’s nuclear weapons on its territory. This would run contrary to the international obligations by Belarus under NPT as a non-nuclear state. 

Lithuania supports inclusive approach to nuclear disarmament where nuclear and non-nuclear states engage in meaningful steps towards creating the environment conducive for further nuclear disarmament negotiations. Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine reaffirmed that further steps enabling nuclear disarmament should be undertaken in a manner that takes into account the prevailing security environment. Our ultimate goal is achieving a world without nuclear weapons by implementing all elements of the NPT, including Article VI, building on the principles of effectiveness, verification and undiminished security for all. 

Before Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, there were some welcome developments, including the agreement reached between the United States and the Russian Federation to extend the New START Treaty for an additional five years as well as the relaunch of the bilateral strategic stability dialogue. Lithuania remains convinced that future arms control arrangements should include all types of nuclear weapons. We also welcome the transparency efforts by some nuclear weapon states to report on their nuclear weapons stockpile. In this regard, we call on China, who is increasing its nuclear weapon capabilities, to demonstrate responsibility and join nuclear arms control talks. 

Mr. President,
Lithuania is gravely concerned about Iran’s violations of the JCPOA and lack of cooperation with the IAEA. We are concerned about irreversible proliferation implications if such policy continues. We strongly call on Iran to reverse all activities inconsistent with the JCPOA and return, without any further delay, to its full implementation, including of all transparency measures.

Lithuania strongly condemns the DPRK’s actions to further develop its illegal nuclear weapons and missile capabilities, including the latest ballistic missile tests. We urge the DPRK to engage in talks with all relevant parties and comply with its obligations under the UN Security Council resolutions, and return to the NPT and its Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
 
Mr. President, 

Having recently marked the 50th anniversary of the NPT, we are looking forward to the successful outcome of this Review conference.

I thank you, Mr. President.

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