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WMD commission urges U.S., Russia to launch arms-cut talks

Other News Materials 2 June 2006 12:35

(RIA Novosti) - An international commission on weapons of mass destruction has called on Washington and Moscow to open negotiations on slashing their strategic arsenals by at least half.

A report presented by commission chairman Hans Blix to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said an arms reductions treaty should include a legally binding provision on the destruction of dismantled missile warheads, and also that the United States and Russia should agree on mutual steps to de-alert their nuclear forces, reports Trend.

Speaking at a news conference at UN headquarters after a meeting with Annan, Blix expressed regret that the United States preferred to pursue military options against alleged violators of the international nonproliferation regime, instead of pressing for effective enforcement of existing agreements.

"While the reaction of most states to the treaty violations was to strengthen and develop the existing treaties and institutions, the U.S., the sole superpower, has looked more to its own military power for remedies," he said, adding that as a result "the nuclear-weapons states no longer seem to take their commitment to nuclear disarmament seriously."

The 200-page report contains 60 recommendations on reducing the global WMD threat, including accession of all countries to the Nonproliferation Treaty, an obligation by nuclear powers not to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear states, and termination of all plutonium-production and uranium-enrichment programs.

The Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission was set up in late 2003 by the Swedish government to revitalize international disarmament commitments. An independent commission, it was headed by Blix, a former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN's nuclear watchdog, best known for his work heading a UN arms-inspection team to Iraq.

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