Head of CTBTO visits Kazakhstan
CTBTO Executive Secretary Tibor Tóth meets high-ranking Kazakh officials in Astana
Against the backdrop of the large-scale on-site inspection exercise that the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) is presently conducting in Kazakhstan, the Executive Secretary of the CTBTO, Tibor Tóth, met with the Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Karim Massimov. He was also received by the Secretary of State, Kanat Saudabayev, the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources, Sauat Mynbayev and the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nurlan Danenov.
Kazakhstan's commitment to the CTBT
All Kazakh interlocutors underlined the strong commitment of Kazakhstan to nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation and, in particular, the early entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). According to Saudabayev, "only all-round renunciation of nuclear weapons can provide peace and security on our planet."
CTBTO grateful to Kazakhstan for hosting exercise
The Executive Secretary of the CTBTO expressed his deep gratitude to Kazakhstan for the dedicated support regarding the hosting of the exercise, the Integrated Field Exercise 08, known as IFE08, which is currently being conducted at the former Soviet Union nuclear test site of Semipalatinsk in northern Kazakhstan. Tóth underscored that this was the largest operation that had been planned and organized from the outset by the Organization. He described the IFE08 as “an exercise that reflects a unique joint venture,” as it involved the participation of 200 experts and inspectors from more than 40 countries. Tóth also gave a lecture at the University of Eurasia and participated in a well attended press briefing.
Historic renunciation of nuclear weapons
Following the disintegration of the Soviet Union, Kazakhstan gained independence in 1991 and found itself in possession of the world’s third largest nuclear arsenal: 1400 ‘stranded’ nuclear warheads, long range bombers and cruise missiles. Kazakhstan subsequently returned all of these weapons to Russia, closed the nuclear test site at Semipalatinsk and acceded to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. It was also one of the first countries to sign the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) when it opened for signature in September 1996.