RIGA - Nuclear arms control, otherwise known as strategic arms control, is an element integral to international security. Those countries which have nuclear weapons also have a special responsibility in this regard, the Latvian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
Since the end of the Cold War, the number of nuclear weapons in the world has been dramatically reduced. The United States and Russia played a lead role in the process of reducing the weapons, and France and the UK were next. Having said this, in the past few years, a tendency in the opposite direction can be observed, as can be witnessed in moves by various countries to develop and expand their nuclear weapons programs, the ministry said.
Russia has hammered out and developed a new nuclear weapons system while also honing its nuclear doctrine and lowering the threshold for use of its nuclear weapons. China as well, has modernized and expanded its arsenal of nuclear weapons, and one can only make conjectures about the actual size of the arsenal due to a lack of transparency, the ministry goes on to say.
Latvia believes that Russian and Chinese involvement in talks initiated by the United States to work out an understanding on regulation of nuclear arms in manner fitting current circumstances would be in the interest of international security and stability. Such negotiations would lower the risks associated with nuclear weapons and avert a destabilizing arms race, as well as demonstrate how these countries are fulfilling their commitments in accordance with Article VI of the NPT, Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. This would promote trust and confidence between countries as well as fostering peace, security and stability around the world, the ministry emphasizes.