On July 22, 1993, Belarus formally deposited at Washington an instrument of accession to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) as a non-nuclear weapon state. Head of State Stanislav Shushkevich presented the instrument of accession to President Clinton at the White House during a meeting in the Oval Office. Belarus thus formalized its approval of the NPT, announced on February 4 in conjunction with the ratification of the START Treaty.
The United States warmly welcomes this action by the Government of Belarus, which confirms, in a legally binding manner, Belarus' commitments to be a non-nuclear state and undertake treaty measures to prevent the further spread of nuclear weapons. Belarus' adherence to the NPT underlines the continued vitality of this Treaty, which now has nearly 160 parties. By this and earlier actions, Belarus has made an outstanding contribution to international efforts to strengthen regional and global security and stability. This action also strengthens the regime, which makes possible international cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear energy.
The United States attaches tremendous importance to the NPT, which is the cornerstone of the international nuclear nonproliferation regime and crucial to US national security. The NPT's success reflects the overwhelming international consensus against nuclear weapons proliferation, as well as broad support for the role of International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards in verifying the Treaty's nonproliferation undertakings. We believe that continued strong international support for the NPT will contribute to the achievement of its indefinite extension in 1995 -- a goal to which the United States attaches great importance.
Belarus' adherence to the NPT comes at a time when cooperation on nonproliferation has become a central element in the entire post-Cold War structure of international security. Belarus' action should encourage adherence by those members of the international community who remain outside the NPT.