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Australia welcomes Kazakhstan's accession to the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty



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NEW S RELEASE M IN IS T E R FOR FO R EIG N AFFAIRS SENATOR G A R ETH EVANS

S L ea ~ - U c a ^

M12 Hl7 February 1994

AUSTRALIA WELCOMES KAZAKHSTAN^ ACCESSION TO THE NUCLEAR NON PROLIFERATION TREATY v < c [ e

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Evans, today warmly welcomed Kazakhstan's accession to the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

On 14 February Kazakhstan deposited its instrument of accession to the NPT with the United States, one of the three depositary powers of the Treaty, during Kazakhstan President Nazarbayev's visit to the United States. This now brings the membership of the Treaty to 162 states.

"Kazakhstan has signalled its strong support for nuclear non-proliferation and its recognition of the fundamental importance of the NPT for regional and global security," Senator Evans said. "This demonstrates Kazakhstan's commitment to playing a responsible international role."

Kazakhstan's accession to the NPT fulfils part of its obligations under the Lisbon Protocol to the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (Start I) signed in May 1992. The Protocol commits Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Belarus to the implementation of START I, the elimination within seven years of all strategic nuclear weapons on their territory, and membership of the NPT as non-nuclear weapon states.

"I have written previously to all the Foreign Ministers of the New Independent States of the former Soviet Union encouraging early membership of the NPT as nonĀ­ nuclear weapon states and underlining the importance of adopting effective nuclear export controls," Senator Evans said.

Senator Evans also noted that he had raised these issues with Kazakhstan Prime Minister Tereshchenko during his official visit to Australia in July last year.

"That visit was a significant step in building firm relations between Kazakhstan and Australia, It highlighted the large potential for cooperation between us," he said.

Kazakhstan's accession to the NPT follows accession by Belarus in June 1993. Ukraine is now the remaining signatory to the Lisbon Protocol yet to fulfil its obligations and become a member of the Treaty.

Senator Evans said Australia had welcomed the Ukrainian parliament's recent ratification of Start I and the Lisbon Protocol, but now looks to the parliament to take an early decision to permit Ukraine's accession to the NPT.

"The Australian Government calls on Ukraine to stand by its commitments to move rapidly to join the NPT as a non-nuclear weapon state."

"Australia will continue to encourage all the states that have emerged from the former Soviet Union to follow the example set by Kazakhstan, Belarus, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan, and join the NPT an non-nuclear weapon states," Senator Evans said.

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