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View from Rio de Janeiro

13.11.2009

p5453_3.jpgRIO DE JANEIRO, 13 NOVEMBER 2009. PIR PRESS – “Russia's plans include expanding cooperation with states of South America in peaceful development of nuclear energy. In this context, Russia has already signed agreements or in the process of establishing dialogue with Ecuador, Venezuela, Argentina, Brazil, and Chile. On the eve of the 2010 NPT Review Conference it would be also an important task for Russia to strengthen dialogue on the most urgent nuclear nonproliferation agenda issues with Brazil, its partner within BRIC group,” – PIR Center President Vladimir Orlov.

On October 29-30, 2009 President of the PIR Center Vladimir Orlov took part in the International Seminar "Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament: The Future of the NPT” held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The seminar was organized by Brazilian Center for International Relations (CEBRI) and Argentinean Nonproliferation for Global Security Foundation (NPS Global).

NPS Global is PIR Center's partner in the implementation of the Nuclear Security Project launched by Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI). Discussions on the role and pace of BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) in the foreign policy of Russia and Brazil connect PIR Center with its colleagues at CEBRI.

During the seminar, more than one hundred experts and student from Brazil as well as international experts held open and sometimes heated discussions on the issues related to preparation for the 2010 NPR Review Conference, including those on the implementation of articles VI (disarmament) and IV (peaceful uses of nuclear energy) of the NPT. The conference was marked by the wide participation of the experts from Latin America, including Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, and Chile as well by the involvement of the experts from the Nuclear Five and India. The participants paid special attention to such questions as multilateral approaches to nuclear fuel cycle and participation in the Additional Protocol to the IAEA safeguards agreement to which Brazil has not joined. The Brazilian colleagues have been extremely sensitive and negative when criticized on this issue. p5453_4.jpg

In his presentation President of the PIR Center Vladimir Orlov talked about the policy of the Russian Federation in the field of nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament; shared his vision of the prospects of the US-Russia bilateral dialogue on strategic arms reductions; and presented seven recommendations which in his opinion have to be taken into account by Russia and other states if they are interested in the successful outcome of the 2010 NPT Review Conference. Addressing the importance of the nuclear energy development in the world, Vladimir Orlov emphasized: “Russia's plans include expanding cooperation with states of South America in peaceful development of nuclear energy. In this context, Russia has already signed agreements or in the process of establishing dialogue with Ecuador, Venezuela, Argentina, Brazil, and Chile.”

It is expected that Russian cooperation with Latin American states will be increasing the nearest future. Scope and specific projects of such cooperation depend on the level of political relations between Russia and respective countries in the region, as well as on the pace of nuclear energy development in these countries. Cooperation with Argentina (nuclear fuel supply, isotope production and development of innovative medium and small size nuclear reactors) and Brazil (uranium exploration and mining and work on the new generation nuclear reactors) is the most promising. Among countries where nuclear energy is less developed Russia will concentrate on cooperation with Venezuela, Ecuador, Colombia, Chile, Peru and Uruguay. With an exception of Colombia and Uruguay these countries have agreements on peaceful nuclear energy cooperation with Russia.

“On the eve of the 2010 NPT Review Conference it is important to strengthen further dialogue on nuclear nonproliferation between Russia and Brazil. We have many coinciding interests including but not limited to peaceful uses of nuclear energy and prevention of arms race in the outer space. We could enhance our dialogue in the framework of BRIC taking into account that on the of the participants – India – has not joined the NPT but still shows interest in participating in the disarmament dialogue,” President of the PIR Center added.

p5453_2.jpgBrazilian mass media noticed Vladimir Orlov's comments about the necessity to shift priorities in the discussions on nuclear proliferation from suspicious states-members to the NPT to those states outside of the NPT which already destabilize international security: Pakistan which has the record of nuclear proliferation and Israel which ignores international community demands expressed in the Resolution on Middle East adopted at the 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference. For instance, Folha de San Paulo published this statement in the headline of the article devoted to the conference.

The following experts gave presentations during the conference: Ambassador Sergio Duarte, UN Secretary General High Representative for Disarmament; Susan Burk, Special Representative of the President Obama for Nuclear Nonproliferation Affairs; Olli Heinonen, Deputy Director General, Head of the Department of Safeguards, at the International Atomic Energy Agency; Gareth Evans, Co-Chair of the International Commission on Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament; Odair Dias Gonçalves - President of Brazil´s National Commission for Nuclear Energy (CNEN), President of the Administrative Council of Brazilian Nuclear Industries (INB) and President of the Administrative Council of Nuclebras; B.S. Prakash, Ambassador of India to Brazil; Joseph Cirincione, President of the Ploughshares Fund; Ambassador Rolf Ekéus, Chairman of the SIPRI Governing Board; Yury Yudin, Senior Researcher at UNIDIR and manager of the Multilateral Approaches to the Nuclear Fuel Cycle project; etc.p5453_1.jpg

In his presentation Ambassador Sergio Duarte demanded from the Nuclear Five maximum transparency of their nuclear arsenals. In his words, any agreement, which prescribes maximum transparency from some states, while leaving an ambiguous impression from nuclear programs of other states is prone to failure. Commenting on Brazil not joining to the Additional Protocol Ambassador Duarte without explaining this approach linked the possibility of Brazil joining the Additional Protocol to the visible progress on nuclear disarmament. He, however, noticed, that no one can demand joining the Additional Protocol from Brazil because no one placed this obligation on either Brazil or any other state. Joining Additional Protocol is a completely voluntary measure.

Vladimir Orlov's presentation and other materials can be found on the website of NPS Global.

For comments from PIR Center's experts, please, call +7 (495) 987-1915.

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