Non-Proliferation, Strategic Export Control and Nuclear Security
Armenia attaches great importance to universal application and effective implementation of all treaties and regimes, dealing with non-proliferation of the weapons of mass destruction (WMD), regarding them as instrumental mechanisms to prevent the proliferation of WMD.
There is a wide range of legal instruments to prevent the proliferation of WMD both on international and national levels. Thus, the pillars of this legislative framework are as follows:
Armenian Parliament has adopted a resolution on accession to the “Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons” (NPT) on September 24, 1991, just three days after adopting a declaration of independence on September 21, 1991, and deposited the necessary instruments of accession with the depositaries of the NPT - the Russian Federation on June 21, 1993 and USA on July 15, 1993. At the 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference, Armenia along with others advocated indefinite extension of the Treaty.
“Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction” (CWC) was ratified by the Republic of Armenia on April 29, 1997. At the First Conference of the State Parties to the CWC in May 1997, Armenia reiterated its commitment to the CWC objectives of non-proliferation and complete elimination of chemical weapons, despite the fact that not all states of our region had ratified the Convention by that time. At the Second CWC conference, Armenia cosponsored the draft recommendation proposed by 16 states on ensuring the universality of the Convention.
With the initiative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia, an Interagency Committee (National Body), headed by the Director of Arms Control and International Security Department of the MFA, was established in accordance with the decision of Prime Minister on October 4, 2011, for the purpose to coordinate the activities of stakeholder agencies to fulfill the obligations under the “Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction”.
“Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction” entered into force on June 7, 1994, after Armenia deposited the instruments of accession with the Russian Federation and the USA.
On October 1, 1996, the Republic of Armenia signed and on July 12, 2006, ratified “The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty” (CTBT).
In 1993 Armenia joined the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). As a country using nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, Armenia recognizes the central role that the International Atomic Energy Agency should play in nuclear non-proliferation, and we are working very closely with the above-mentioned organization.
“The Agreement between the Republic of Armenia and the International Atomic Energy Agency for the Application of Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement in connection with Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons” was signed on September 23, 1993, and entered into force on May 5, 1994 (IAEA INFCIRC. 455). “Protocol Additional to the Agreement between the Republic of Armenia and the International Atomic Energy Agency for the Application of Safeguards in connection with Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons” was signed on September 29, 1997, and entered into force on June 28, 2004. All of Armenia’s nuclear material at the country’s only operating nuclear facility has been placed under the Agency’s full scope safeguards.
The Republic of Armenia has ratified the “Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material” on September 23, 1993. Armenia has also joined the 2005 Amendment to the Convention.
“Convention on Nuclear Safety” entered into force for Armenia on December 20, 1998.
The visit of IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano to Armenia from 16 to 18 April, 2012, will have its further positive impact on the development of relations between Armenia and the IAEA.
Armenia is not a member of the international export control regimes: Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), Zangger Committee, the Australia Group, and the prime reason is that Armenia is not a major producer of dual-use items or military goods, materials and technologies, and the membership in the mentioned regimes may not be relevant to the economic profile of the country. In spite of this fact, Armenia strongly adheres to the goals and principles of these regimes.
However, as a result of continuous approximation to international standards of the export control regime of dual-use items in our country, Armenia officially applied for membership in the The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies on May 16, 2012.
The National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia adopted a new Criminal Code on 18 April 2003 and a law on “Export control of dual-use items and technologies and their transit across the territory of the Republic of Armenia” on May 15, 2010 (replaced the law of 2003). This law intends to support the implementation of international obligations and commonly agreed measures in order to fight the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems, to guarantee the implementation of international agreements and establish an effective export control mechanism, to create favorable conditions for integration into world trade system and acquisition of modern technologies by promoting foreign trade and investments. According to the law, the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Armenia has been recognized as an authorized body in the sphere of export control of dual-use goods and technologies.
“Government decree N-1308N on approving the list of military products, the procedures for licensing import, export, transit of military products, the brokerage in trade of these products, and the formats of the appropriate documents” was adopted on November 12, 2009, and entered into force on December 13, 2009. According to the Decree, the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Armenia has been recognized as an authorized body in the sphere of munitions export control.
The Export Control list has been adopted by the Government, and the European Union’s Export Control list was taken as a basis for that of the national one. It is periodically being updated and brought to conformity with the EU list.
On October 12, 2004, the Republic of Armenia signed the “Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation”.
The Republic of Armenia signed the “International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism” on September 15, 2005 (entered into force on September 22, 2010).
The Republic of Armenia is actively participating in Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Cooperation Initiative (NDCI) proposed by the EU.
Armenia also attaches particular significance to the Nuclear Security Summits. President of the Republic of Armenia participated in the 2010 Washington and 2012 Seoul Nuclear Security Summits.
One of the cornerstones of the national security of the Republic of Armenia has always been fostering the cooperation with the member states of international non-proliferation regimes.
On June 30, 1998, the Republic of Armenia signed an Agreement with the Government of the Republic of Argentina on “Cooperation in the Field of Peaceful use of Nuclear Energy” (entered into force on April 22, 1999).
On September 25, 2000, the Republic of Armenia signed an Agreement with the Government of the Russian Federation on “Cooperation in the Field of Peaceful Use of Nuclear Energy” (entered into force on January 10, 2001).
On a bilateral level, the United States of America and the Republic of Armenia have agreed to mutual cooperation and assistance in the worldwide effort to counter the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. As a part of this effort, on July 24, 2000, the two countries signed an “Agreement between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Republic of Armenia Concerning Cooperation in the Area of Counter-Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction”.
On March 24, 2006, Armenia declared that it welcomes and fully supports the Proliferation Security Initiative and the Statement of Interdiction Principles of September 4, 2003.
The Republic of Armenia joined US-Russia Global Initiative of 2006 to Combat Acts of Nuclear Terrorism (GICNT).
On July 14, 2008, the “Joint Action Plan between the Government of the United States of America and Government of the Republic of Armenia on Combating Smuggling of Nuclear and Radioactive Materials” was signed in Washington. This document is aimed at the elimination of nuclear smuggling through activities in 4 major fields: prevention, detection, response and fighting against corruption. The list of 6 priority assistance projects includes 1 project on radioactive sources, 1 on border detection, 2 on nuclear forensics, and 1 on laws and anti-corruption training.
Armenia is also engaged in US Export Control and Related Border Security (EXBS) Program, which is designed to develop the enforcement skills of the Armenian border guards and the Customs Service in their fight against the movement of weapons of mass destruction and dual-use products.
All projects, which are currently underway, reflect this commitment and the needs and priorities of the Government of Armenia.