Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders regrets the demise of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. The signature of the INF in 1987 was a milestone in nuclear disarmament. For more than thirty years, this treaty contributed to Euro-Atlantic security through the verifiable destruction of nearly 3,000 conventional and nuclear missiles.
Unfortunately, Russia did not respond to the repeated international calls to resume the execution of its obligations under the treaty. This is what eventually led to the dissolution of the treaty.
As a NATO member, Belgium emphasizes the great importance of nuclear arms control and disarmament as essential elements to our international security. Indeed, no one’s interests are served by a new arms race. This is why Minister Reynders believes it is crucial the US and Russia conduct a constructive dialogue and agree on stabilising measures. Didier Reynders urges both countries to take initiatives toward the reduction of their nuclear arsenals, irrespective of the weapons system type. As to deployed strategic nuclear weapons, it is important to extend the New START Treaty beyond its current expiry date of 2021. The US and Russia must engage in an active dialogue on this issue.