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Statement delivered by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Mykola Tochytskyi at the NPT Review Conference General Debate
03 August 2022 18:06

Mr President,

At the outset, allow me to congratulate you on your election.

Distinguished members of the NPT community,

Today is the 159th day of a full-scale aggression unleashed by the NPT nuclear power against a NPT non-nuclear state. This unprovoked and unjustified aggression of Russia against Ukraine has divided our world into “before” and “after”. Before nobody could imagine that bitter lessons of the two world wars would be ignored. Before none of us believed that horrors of concentration camps, deportation, massacres and a real threat of nuclear war would come back to our daily life.

Critical infrastructure facilities, public and residential areas, even schools and hospitals are under missiles’ and bombs’ attacks every day. Thousands of educational and medical institutions, water and electricity networks were damaged and destroyed. Investigation into more than 25,000 war crimes and crimes of aggression committed since 24 February has been launched so far. Among them

– the cases on killing of 6500 civilians, including 358 children. These figures are growing daily due to unceasing heavy shelling and airstrikes on the Ukrainian civilian infrastructure.

The Russian leadership openly threatens the world with its ability to use nuclear weapons, backed by the clear calls to do so by the Russian state media. Think-tanks and experts widely argue on what type of nuclear weapons – tactical or strategic – Russia will use during the ongoing war against Ukraine.

This is the background for our NPT review conference.

Mr. President,

Since 2014 the issue of the NPT efficacy and integrity has become much more complicated and even dramatic. Russian military aggression against Ukraine provoked dangerous misbalance in the existing international security system, undermined the effectiveness and reliability of WMD non-proliferation regimes. By occupying the Crimea in a blatant violation of the UN Charter and a number of international agreements, including the Budapest Memorandum, Russia has demonstrated that the legal obligations of a nuclear power to respect independence and sovereignty of non-nuclear state as well as to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity are worth nothing.

We should have stopped Russia back then but we did not.

The outcome of such lack of vigilance and decisiveness is well known. Today it is not only the Preamble of the NPT, but the all three pillars are brutally violated by the nuclear-weapon state.

Disarmament has been undermined due to unjustified development by Russia of its nuclear strike capabilities. Such names as “Kinzhal”, “Avangard”, “Sarmat”, “Poseidon” – are in the air, as russia is openly threatening the world with the new weaponry. Additionally, on March 10th Russia put its nuclear weapons on high alert.

Non-proliferation became an illusion as Russia de-facto expanded the geographic area of its nuclear arms deployment after the occupation of Crimea. Moreover, moscow has already shelled missiles, capable to deliver nuclear warheads, over the Ukrainian cities from the territory of Belarus, a non-nuclear weapon state according to the NPT.

For the first time in history, civil nuclear facilities have been turned into military targets and springboards for the Russian army in breach of the NPT provisions on peaceful use of nuclear energy. You will have a possibility to see and hear the truth about the occupation of Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant and russian crimes at Chornobyl tomorrow at a special side-event on the margins of this Conference.

The world witnesses how nuclear terrorism, sponsored by the nuclear-weapon state, is arising in reality.

The robust joint actions are needed to prevent nuclear disaster at global scale. We ask to close the sky over the nuclear power plants in Ukraine. To provide air defense systems. To prove by deeds that aggressor cannot remain utterly safe and unpunished because it possesses nuclear arms.

Let us face it and say aloud – the international community has trapped itself. After Russia has breached every existing norm of international law by waging its war against Ukraine and by clear intentions to locate its nuclear arsenal on the territory of non-nuclear states - does anyone here can predict the future of the NPT?

Mr President,

Regrettably, the future of the NPT is also challenged by the unresolved issue of the DPRK`s nuclear and missile program. The recent ICBM launch conducted by the DPRK in blatant violation of the relevant UN Security Council’s resolutions only aggravates the situation. The issue of the JCPOA remains to be of international concern and is still depends on Iran’s compliance with its nuclear-related commitments.

Considering that we live in the world as it is, where over 95% of the UN membership does not possess nuclear weapons, providing non-nuclear states with effective negative security guarantees should be considered as a top priority.

We firmly believe that the establishment of new Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones, including the one in our region, as well as further strengthening of the IAEA’s system of safeguards, are becoming more urgent tasks for non-proliferation regime.

The delegation of Ukraine is confident that every state will benefit from a transformation of the CTBT into a forceful international legal instrument. The other, long overdue task on our agenda is the immediate commencement of negotiations on the FMCT, which is essential both to constrain nuclear proliferation and to advance the goal of nuclear disarmament.

It`s high time to make a right choice and do our best to restore the NPT integrity and save millions of lives.

I thank you.

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