US jeopardizing UN nuke ban treaty by excluding AUKUS bloc: Russia

US jeopardizing UN nuke ban treaty by excluding AUKUS bloc: Russia

US already 'derailed' several arms control pacts and now putting Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty at risk by involving non-nuclear states in nuclear activities, says Sergey Lavrov

By Elena Teslova

MOSCOW (AA) – Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday that attempts to exclude the AUKUS military bloc from the Treaty on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) could jeopardize the agreement's existence.

Speaking at the Moscow Conference on International Security, Lavrov said the US has already "derailed" a number of arms control pacts and is now putting the NPT at risk by involving non-nuclear states – Japan and South Korea – in nuclear activities, which are strictly prohibited by the treaty.

On Sept. 15, 2021, the US, UK, and Australia announced the formation of AUKUS, a trilateral security pact under which Canberra will get nuclear-powered submarines.

The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, commonly known as the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty or NPT, is a multilateral international pact developed by the UN Disarmament Committee with the aim of establishing a solid barrier to the expansion of the circle of countries possessing nuclear weapons.

The treaty also ensures the necessary international control to limit the possibility of an armed conflict with the use of such weapons and creates ample opportunities for the peaceful use of atomic energy.

The treaty entered into force in 1970 and in May 1995, its participants agreed to extend the treaty indefinitely.

The treaty defines nuclear-weapon states as those that have built and tested a nuclear explosive device before Jan. 1, 1967 – the US (1945), Russia (1949), UK (1952), France (1960), and China (1964).

Four other states are known to possess nuclear weapons -- India, Pakistan, North Korea, and Israel.

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