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US, Russian cuts in nuclear weapons welcomed

14 November 2001 Media Statement

US, Russian cuts in nuclear weapons welcomed


Disarmament Minister Matt Robson welcomed the announcement today that the US will slash its nuclear weapons stockpile by about two-thirds and that Russia will try to respond in kind.

He urged Presidents Bush and Putin to now deliver on their commitment to the total elimination of nuclear weapons.

“This is a tremendous step forward, and New Zealand encourages both countries to act with the highest level of ambition in completely eliminating their nuclear stockpiles.”

“New Zealand has considerable moral authority internationally on the issue of disarmament.

“Alongside our New Agenda colleagues (Mexico, Brazil, South Africa, Ireland, Sweden and Egypt) we have consistently pushed for a ban on all testing of nuclear weapons.

“The events of September 11 have been an impetus for disarmament. No-one wants to see these sorts of weapons in the hands of terrorists.

“We must take heart from the hopeful signs that are emerging: we have new steps towards disarmament, the Taleban is in disarray, and there’s a new willingness internationally to assist with peace between Palestine and Israel.

“I also believe we are in a stronger position today to move ahead on our plans for a nuclear weapons free Southern Hemisphere,” says Matt Robson.


ENDS

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