Russia rejected as “ungrounded” an island archipelago’s challenge to Moscow’s compliance with nuclear disarmament commitments, RIA Novosti reports.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich on Monday voiced surprise that his country was targeted in last week’s legal action by the Marshall Islands, which played host to dozens of U.S. nuclear tests in the 1940s and 1950s. In cases filed at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands, the island chain demanded faster disarmament steps by all nine known and presumed nuclear-capable nations.
“Russia continues to demonstrate its effective and consistent approach toward the implementation of its commitments under the [Nuclear] Nonproliferation Treaty,” Lukashevich said in released comments.
He argued that Moscow has significantly curbed its atomic arsenal under deals reached with other powers.
“Russia has reduced its strategic [long-range] nuclear potential by more than 80 percent and its nonstrategic nuclear weapons by three-quarters from their peak numbers,” Reuters quoted the foreign ministry as saying.
“We are convinced that the filing of ungrounded lawsuits does not help the creation of favorable conditions for further international efforts in the sphere of control over armaments and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction,” Lukashevich added in the RIA Novosti article.
The foreign ministry added, though, that “the international community has made no serious efforts” in 45 years to meet the nonproliferation treaty’s call for a successor pact allowing for “complete disarmament under strict and effective international control,” Reuters reported.
Moscow “is open to interaction with its NPT partners with the aim of seeking the most effective paths to realization of the treaty,” according to a ministry statement.
What We're Following See More »
Democrats in the House are threatening to shut down the government if Republicans expedite a vote on a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, said Democratic House Whip Steny Hoyer Thursday. Lawmakers have introduced a one-week spending bill to give themselves an extra week to reach a long-term funding deal, which seemed poised to pass easily. However, the White House is pressuring House Republicans to take a vote on their Obamacare replacement Friday to give Trump a legislative victory, though it is still not clear that they have the necessary votes to pass the health care bill. This could go down to the wire.
Members of Congress are eyeing a one-week spending bill which would keep the government open past the Friday night deadline, giving lawmakers an extra week to iron out a long-term deal to fund the government. Without any action, the government would run out of funding starting at midnight Saturday. “I am optimistic that a final funding package will be completed soon," said Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-N.J., chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.
"President Trump informed Mexican President Pena Nieto and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday afternoon that he will not pull the U.S. from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) despite reports earlier in the day that he had considered doing so. ... The three leaders agreed to proceed quickly with renegotiation plans as the initial review process comes to a close."
"A new bill to revive a permanent nuclear waste repository in Yucca Mountain, Nev., fails to address the concerns of Nevada lawmakers, suggesting the latest attempt may not resolve a 20-year impasse over the issue." The state's congressional delegation "shared their opposition to the nuclear waste policy amendment during a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing focused on the legislation," and promised that Gov. Brian Sandoval would oppose it at every turn. "The new bill aims to finally use some $31 billion that has accumulated in the Nuclear Waste Fund, set aside in 1982 to collect specifically for a permanent repository."