Arms Trade Treaty standards too low to join – Russia

The Arms Trade Treaty does not interfere with internal laws of the nations that join it, but it does require international transition of data about end users of weapons from the traders to manufacturers. Source: Tatiana Andreeva / RG

The Arms Trade Treaty does not interfere with internal laws of the nations that join it, but it does require international transition of data about end users of weapons from the traders to manufacturers. Source: Tatiana Andreeva / RG

The major objection from the Russian side is that the developers of the treaty refuse to include provisions that would regulate the transfer of arms to non-governmental structures and subjects without official powers.

Russia has not yet decided to join the Arms Trade Treaty as its standards are inferior to the ones used in its own system of military-industrial cooperation, a senior diplomat said.

“Our decision on whether we should join this treaty has not yet been taken. It will be taken later, with consideration of many factors not excluding the speed of the treaty’s ratification by countries that had already signed it,” said Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov.

The statement was made at the Russia Arms Expo 2013 international trade exhibition currently underway near the city of Nizhny Tagil.

The official noted that the major objection from the Russian side was that the developers of the treaty refuse to include provisions that would regulate the transfer of arms to non-governmental structures and subjects without official powers.

“This is a direct violation of the existing norms of the international law, including the UN prerogatives,” Ryabkov said, adding that the standards used in the current version of the treaty are below the ones that are used in the system of the military-technical cooperation used by Russia.

The Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) is a major international agreement that was developed by a global conference organized by the United Nations and approved by the UN General Assembly in April this year.

Russia, China and India were among 23 countries that abstained from voting, while 155 countries voted for the treaty.

The treaty covers export, import, leasing and transit of conventional arms and calls for the creation of registers of arms transactions in the signatory states. Other provisions include a ban on transfer of arms if the seller has evidence that the weapons would be used in acts of genocide or crimes against humanity, serious violations of the Geneva conventions or attacks on civilians.

The document does not interfere with internal laws of the nations that join it, but it does require international transition of data about end users of weapons from the traders to manufacturers.

ATT has already been signed by 86 states. It has not yet come into force as no nation has yet ratified it. Fifty states are required to ratify the ATT for it to come into force.

First published in RT.com.

All rights reserved by Rossiyskaya Gazeta.

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