Russia discussing Conference on Disarmament issues with nuclear club members

A treaty preventing the deployment of weapons in outer space is a priority for Russia, while Moscow is also prepared to discuss other aspects of disarmament within the framework of the Conference on Disarmament, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Saturday.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov took part in a meeting of representatives of the five nuclear powers and another meeting attended also by representatives of India and Pakistan in Geneva on Friday, the ministry said.

The participants in the meetings discussed the situation in the Conference on Disarmament and preparations for drafting a program of its balanced work, it said.

"Russia emphasized that nuclear disarmament issues should be discussed at the Conference on Disarmament and should involve all states possessing nuclear weapons and also based on the consensus principle protecting interests of national security of each particular state," the ministry said.

"It was also pointed out that we do not object to the beginning of discussions on the FMCT [the Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty], but relevant discussions, not to mention negotiations - if and whenever they begin - should also be held in the Conference. At the same time, it was pointed out that Russia's main priority now is the development of a treaty preventing the deployment of weapons in outer space," the ministry said.

The Conference on Disarmament was established in 1979 based on outcomes of the first UN General Assembly session for disarmament in 1978 as the international community's only multilateral forum for developing disarmament agreements.

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