25th anniversary of Kazakhstan’s accession to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons
Yerzhan Ashikbayev, Foreign Affairs Deputy Minister Comment
ASTANA, February 14, 2019 – Exactly 25 years ago, on February 14, 1994, the President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, during an official visit to the United States of America, presented the instruments of ratification to President Bill Clinton as the head of the depositary state of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).
From this point on, Kazakhstan officially joined the NPT as a non-nuclear weapon state. This was preceded by a huge amount of work related to the verified and far-sighted decision of the Head of State to close the Semipalatinsk test site, abandon its nuclear status and remove all nuclear weapons inherited after the collapse of the USSR from the territory of Kazakhstan.
By signing on May 23, 1992, together with Belarus and Ukraine, the Lisbon Protocol to the Treaty between the USSR and the United States on the Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms of 1991 (START), we have committed ourselves to acceding to the NPT as a non-nuclear weapon state.
Let me remind you that as of the beginning of 1991, there was a huge arsenal of weapons of mass destruction on the territory of Kazakhstan, which included 1,216 nuclear warheads for intercontinental ballistic missiles and nuclear warheads for heavy bombers.
The accession of Kazakhstan to the NPT was an important step in the implementation of the country’s foreign policy, based on the humane aspirations of achieving a world free of nuclear weapons.
The NPT is a cornerstone in international efforts to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons and, ultimately, eliminate them, as well as promote the peaceful use of atomic energy.
Kazakhstan, as an active supporter of nuclear disarmament and strengthening of the global nuclear non-proliferation regime, is in favor of strict compliance by all parties with the provisions of the Treaty.
The NPT remains a unique document of its kind, since there is no other international agreement based on an agreement between nuclear and non-nuclear countries.
On January 18, 2018, the President of Kazakhstan N. Nazarbayev put forward a number of initiatives at the thematic briefing of the UN Security Council on the theme “Non-proliferation of WMD: Confidence Building Measures”, including on the elaboration of measures to complicate exit from the NPT and the adoption of sanctions for violating countries.
Kazakhstan intends to continue the implementation of the initiatives of the Head of State aimed at achieving by the centenary of the United Nations in 2045 a world free of nuclear threats.