President Vladimir Putin:
Good afternoon, colleagues,
On our agenda today is the issue of ensuring national security in the sphere of non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and means of their delivery.
I expect that the significance of this issue is clear for everyone. Along with international terrorism, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction remains the main threat to peace in the 21st century. And the situation is particular dangerous in which weapons of mass destruction can be available to terrorists.
I would like to single out two main problem areas connected with possible proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The first concerns the international legal base of regulation. The existing international agreements in this area, unfortunately, do not set norms that are obligatory for all nations to observe, and do not contain mechanisms which adequately guarantee security for individual countries and the world as a whole.
These agreements cannot be called universal, and the measures taken are not adequate for the degree of modern threats.
The second thing I would like to note is that, as deplorable as this may be, now a significant number of countries have the technological capabilities of creating weapons of mass destruction. And we must also take this into consideration.
On the whole, it must be admitted that the international community does not yet have a truly effective and all-embracing algorithm for solving this global problem. And so more effective measures of international control over the situation are required. Measures which should exclude the very possibility of unsanctioned use of weapons of mass destructions for both terrorists and individual nations.
At the same time, I stress that all our actions in this sphere should be organized in a very balanced, consistent and careful way. But any attempts to use this subject as a tool of political or economic influence should of course be met with resistance and an appropriate reaction on our part.
For the Russian Federation itself with its extensive borders and weapons potential that was built up in the past, overcoming the threat of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction is a priority task.
Individual elements of this work, such as export control, while they are important, unfortunately do not yet allow us to speak of a complete system. There is no unity in the interpretation of the very term of non-proliferation.
To change the situation, we must move away from stereotypes, and above all, once more determine the priorities in the existing conceptual documents. Above all, in the Conception of National Security.
Secondly, a profound and systematic analysis is required of all of our state activity on non-proliferation, including existing programmes in this area.
And thirdly, there is a demand for clearer coordination of the activity of state bodies in this sphere. We must clearly determine the role of every department, ensure their functions do not repeat themselves, and increase control over the quality of their work.
At the same time, we should also think about the system for re-training specialists working on this problem, and strengthen the personnel of the according departments.
Coordinating the policies of non-proliferation in the CIS should also be given closer attention. And this does not just concern unified forms of export control, but also of model legislation in united approaches of CIS member countries to the problem of non-proliferation.
Russia does not just consistently fulfil its international obligations in the sphere of non-proliferation, it is also prepared to develop this international cooperation further. Our country is one of the key participants in the non-proliferation process, and of course it will keep this role in future.
In connection with this, we will promote the according initiatives in this sphere more persistently, including the initiative declared at the Millennium summit at the UN in 2000.
In conclusion I will stress once more: competent and effective policies in the sphere of non-proliferation of weapons of mass destructions means the safety of our nation as a whole and of our citizens, and ensure international stability and increase the authority of Russia in the world.