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Minister of Foreign Affairs

Linas Linkevičius

Minister's agenda cv Twitter

Arms control and nonproliferation

Created: 2014.02.05 / Updated: 2017.06.14 14:07
  • Implementation of the Resolutions of the United Nations (Report according to UN Security Council Resolution 1540)
    On 28 April 2004, the United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 1540 (2004) under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter which affirms that the proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and their means of delivery constitutes a threat to international peace and security. The resolution obliges States, inter alia, to refrain from supporting by any means non-State actors from developing, acquiring, manufacturing, possessing, transporting, transferring or using nuclear, chemical or biological weapons and their delivery systems.

    In addition, UN Security Council Resolution 1540 calls upon States to present their first reports on implementation of this Resolution no later than six months from its adoption to the Committee of the Security Council established in accordance with the Resolution. Lithuania has provided a comprehensive report in 2004 and has complemented it with supplementation of national measures against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in 2005. In 2013 Lithuania was among the fewest States that provided a supplemented report on implementation of the UN Security Council Resolution 1540 during the period of 2005-2013.

    Reports on the implementation of the UN Security Council Resolution 1540 are prepared by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania in cooperation with other competent authorities (Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Lithuania, Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Lithuania, Ministry of Health Care of the Republic of Lithuania, Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Lithuania, Radiation Protection Centre, State Nuclear Power Safety Inspectorate (VATESI), Nuclear Security Centre of Excellence). Lithuania invites other states to take necessary steps for effective implementation of the UN Security Council Resolution 1540.
  • Implementation of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction (BTWC) of 1972
    The Convention on the Prohibition and Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction (BTWC) of 1972 was ratified by the Republic of Lithuania in 1997.

    Under this Convention states are obliged to act with a view to achieving effective progress towards general and complete disarmament, including the prohibition and elimination of all types of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), prohibition of the development, production and stockpiling of chemical and bacteriological (biological) weapons and their elimination, through effective measures that will facilitate the achievement of general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.

    In order to continuously strengthen the image of Lithuania as a credible disarmament and non-proliferation actor, Lithuania has joined the initiative of Canada, Switzerland and Czech Republic of voluntary reporting on national implementation of BTWC and intends to provide the reports as of 2014.
  • EU Action Lines in Combating the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction and Their Delivery System
    The threat presented by the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, as identified in the European Security Strategy of 2003, has not diminished and presents a growing risk to the EU's security environment. It is taking on new dimensions that represent challenges to which the EU must respond effectively: new communication tools allowing easier acquiring of sensitive knowledge and know-how by proliferators; new proliferation pathways; and the rapid development of science and technology, which facilitates the design of weapons of mass destruction. Therefore, the Council of European Union, aiming to improve the efficiency of the implementation of EU WMD strategy (2003) endorsed the document "New lines for action by the European Union in combating the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery system" on 8-9 December 2008. This document was extended by the Foreign Affairs Council of 13 December 2010 for a further period of two years. On 21st October 2013 Foreign Affairs Council adopted Conclusions on ensuring the continued pursuit of an effective EU policy on the new challenges presented by the proliferation of WMD and their delivery systems.

    The main attention is given for: evaluation of new risks and threats; cooperation between independent scientific research institutes; security and transfer control of scientific and academic knowledge; raising of responsibility of the scientists; establishment of codes of professional conduct; awareness of consular vigilance; developing of measures of export control; money laundering prevention and stressing financial vigilance; seizure of illegal WMD cargos; assistance and collaboration with third countries.

    Lithuania has joined the implementation of actions in combating the proliferation of WMD by raising awareness in scientific and business circles, and development of export control measures. Arms Control and Terrorism Prevention Division of the Transatlantic Cooperation and Security Policy Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs conducts the functions of the focal point for implementation of the new lines of action in combating the proliferation of the WMD in Lithuania.
  • Proliferation Security Initiative
    The Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) is aiming at giving a new impulse for the fight against illegal proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). The objective of the Initiative is to stop delivery of nuclear, chemical or biological materials which can be used for the production of weapons as well as missile technologies for malevolent countries. Among the measures envisaged in the Initiative is the search and interdiction of any vessels, aircrafts and overland transport that are suspected of transporting such cargoes.

    The Initiative was launched by the US President George W. Bush on 31 May 2003 in Krakow. Currently, the Initiative is supported by more than 60 countries. The PSI is compatible with the EU position and complies with the EU Strategy against the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction approved by the heads of the EU member States on 12 December 2003. The parties to the Initiative starting in 2004 are inviting EU and NATO members to participate in common PSI trainings.

    Lithuania joined the political declaration of the Council of Ministers of the EU dated 17 May 2004 supporting PSI and sustaining its objectives. According to the legislation of Lithuania and the European Community and international obligations, Lithuania will take all the necessary actions to support interdiction.

    Lithuania hosted the PSI exercise "Smart Raven" on 26-27 April 2007. Experts from Poland, Latvia and Estonia, and observers from 19 countries participated in the drill.

    Lithuania supports the implementation of new methods for non-proliferation and countering illegal trade with malevolent countries. Lithuania supports strengthening of the identification, control and interdiction of illegal shipments.
  • Ottawa Convention
    In December 1996, the United Nations General Assembly passed Resolution 51/45S, which invited the states to conclude a new international treaty on a global ban for anti-personnel mines. In 1997, Norway arranged a conference which on 18 September adopted the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-personnel Mines and on Their Destruction. This international Treaty is also called the Ottawa Convention.

    Lithuania was the first Baltic State to join the Ottawa Convention. The Convention came into force in Lithuania on 1 November 2003. The stockpiles of anti-personnel landmines in Lithuania were completely destroyed in June 2004.

    Lithuania, pursuing the implementation of international obligations, contributing to the promotion of transparency and co-ordinating its activities with international endeavours, pushed for new development of the Ottawa Convention in the region and matured a process necessary for the universal application of the objectives of the Convention. Lithuania is striving to enhance aid for the victims of the landmines, to foster the regulations on prohibition of anti-personnel mines in the region and invites the withdrawal of these anti-human weapons. In order to keep the image of Lithuania as a credible disarmament and non-proliferation actor and in implementing the Ottawa Convention, Lithuania gives the priority attention the destruction of stockpile of millions of anti-personnel mines with chemical cartridge (PFM-1) in the territory Belarus and Ukraine.

    Currently Lithuania is a territory free of anti-personnel mines; transit of these landmines will be allowed only for destruction purposes. Lithuanian mine clearance experts are being prepared for possible mine clearance missions in peace enhancing operations; soldiers will not participate in joint military operations using the prohibited anti-personnel mines.
  • Prohibition of Cluster Munitions
    On 24 March 2011 Lithuania joined the Convention of the United Nations on Cluster Munitions. The Convention was signed in Dublin in December 2008 and came into force on 1 August 2010.

    By using cluster munitions, which are wide area impact weapons, it is not possible to separate civilian targets from military ones, which leads to violation of international humanitarian law. Moreover, in some cases after attacks more than one third of unexploded bomblets pose risks to people and economic development long after the conflicts end. Lithuania does not possess, use or plan to acquire cluster munitions.

    Lithuania pursues the implementation of all international agreements which aim to limit the humanitarian harm caused by certain sorts of munitions, also actively supports the establishments of such international instruments.
  • Sea-dumped Chemical Weapons
    After the World War II about 40 thousand tons of chemical weapons were dumped in the Baltic Sea posing a wide-scale threat to the people and the environment. It is estimated that these chemical munitions contained some 15,000 tonnes of chemical warfare agents. Different types of chemical warfare agents are found in different areas, e.g. in Gotland Deep, which is in the territory of Lithuanian economic zone (Lithuanian economic zone in the Baltic Sea is as large as 6 400 km² and reaches waters of Sweden) one object is found with 9,5 mg/kg concentration of hazardous chemical - arsenic.

    At Lithuania‘s initiative in 2010 the International Scientific Advisory Board on Dumped Chemical Weapons was established. The Scientific Board has gathered world-known representatives of environmental organizations, scientists and researchers from Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Sweden, and the U.S.A., working in the fields of environment protection and destruction of chemical weapons. The Scientific Board provides qualified scientific and technological information, evaluations and analytical recommendations regarding sea-dumped chemical weapons.

    In 2010, Lithuania introduced the United Nations (UN) Second Committee Resolution on environmental effects related to waste originating from sea-dumped chemical weapons (A/RES/65/149), which was adopted unanimously at the UN General Assembly on the 20th December 2010. The Resolution encourages cooperation of all countries in assessing environmental effects of waste originating from chemical munitions dumped at sea. This Resolution is the first resolution Lithuania has independently introduced at the United Nations. For the consistency and continuity of work, in 2013 Lithuania has initiated another resolution on the matter. Resolution Cooperative measures to assess and increase awareness of environmental effects related to waste originating from chemical munitions dumped at sea (A/RES/68/208) was passed unanimously at UN General Assembly on the 20th December 2013. This Resolution reflects states‘ initiatives in the area of sea-dumped chemical munitions and sets further cooperation guidelines, inviting states to provide their views on the possibility of establishing a database containing relevant and voluntarily shared information on sea-dumped chemical munitions.

    The Chemical Weapons Convention, which entered into force on 29 April 1997, does not require declaration of chemical weapons dumped in the sea prior to 1 January 1985. Considering this, countries that have sea-dumped chemical weapons in their territorial waters are not obliged to provide relevant reports nor take any other measures. However, the Convention provides, that all responsiblity shall lie upon the country that has recovered or raised sea-dumped chemical weapons.

    Lithuania participates actively in the activities of organizations and projects aimed at protection of the marine environment of the Baltic Sea: HELCOM (The Helsinki Commision), CHEMSEA (Project ened on 15th February 2014), BSAS (Baltic Sea Action Summit) and NATO MODUM (Towards the monitoring of dumped munitions threat)

    More information on the matter can be found at www.seadumpedcw.org
  • Vienna Document on Confidence and Security Building Measures
    The contribution of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) is expressed in the best way through the agreement of OSCE member countries on implementation of measures building security and confidence. These important political obligations are set in the Vienna Document (updated 2011), which envisages concrete measures for comprehensive control of the military forces of the member countries as well as of the openness and predictability of military activities. The Vienna Document is the only overall instrument for weaponry control in Europe. The document sets the obligation for states to provide information every year on their military forces, development plans of the military capabilities and the military budget, and to inform in advance about planned military activities. The states undertake to accept in their territories the set number of the military expert inspections and visits (so-called verification activities) from other countries. The Document also envisages military co-operation (demonstration of new kinds of weaponry, visits to military bases, and watching certain military activities), joint actions of the states in case of military incidents, and joint trainings. A state, which has concerns about unusual military activities in another state, is entitled to require explanation from the state where the activity is taking place. The member states also undertake to co-operate in assessment of the nature of hazardous military incidents in order to prevent possible misunderstandings.

    In order to ensure maximum transparency during military activities, the Document envisages mandatory supervision of certain military activities with the presence of representatives of the other states. The Document stresses the importance of the regional and bilateral agreements. The member states may agree on a bilateral or multilateral basis on the additional measures aiming at enhancing transparency and mutual confidence. Measures enhancing transparency and mutual confidence may be adapted to the specific needs of the region.
  • Bilateral Agreements on Confidence and Security Building Measures
    Lithuania actively participates in the implementation of the objectives and principles of the Vienna Document: exchanges military-political information with partners, carries out and accepts inspections and assessment visits in accordance with the Vienna Document (VD) of 2011.

    Moreover, in addition to key obligations related to VD, Lithuania also implements bilateral agreements with Russia, Belarus, Sweden and Finland on additional measures for ensuring regional security and stability in order to increase the confidence between the countries and their military structures.

    Lithuanian agreement on bilateral measures establishes even more measures: besides the additional visits to the military units, it envisages the inspections of whole regions. The countries also agreed to inform each other in advance about the trainings and military activities the scale of which does not reach the limits set in the VD for advance information.
  • Export Controls and Sanctions
    Export control questions are closely related to the common Lithuanian security policy: the threat of proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) is closely related to the threat of global terrorism, therefore non-proliferation and enforcement of export control mechanisms are the key issues and priority of today’s international policy.

    Since 27 May 2004 Lithuania is a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and since 26 May 2004 – a member of the Australia Group, which deals with control of proliferation of chemical and biological weapon. Lithuania joined the Wassenaar Arrangement (WA) on 6 May 2005 and is pursuing membership in the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR).

    Nuclear Suppliers Group is regulating transfers of nuclear material and technologies. Australian group is dealing with non-proliferation of chemical, biological and toxic substances. The Wassenaar Arrangement regulates transfers and accumulations of conventional arms and dual-use goods and technologies. The Missile Technology Control Regime regulates the unmanned delivery systems capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction.

    The Republic of Lithuania emphasises the importance of enforcement of arms control and constantly co-ordinates its activities with the requirements of the international non-proliferation regimes. Pursuing the implementation of the Law on the Control of Strategic Goods, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania is striving to more effectively integrate the guidelines of these regimes into the national regulations of export controls.

    Following these objectives, Lithuania aims at ensuring that transfers and stockpiles of conventional arms and dual-use goods and technologies do not threaten regional and international security and stability. National export controls are carried out in accordance with the requirements of the internal legislation, legal acts of the EU, the Treaty of the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, the Chemical Weapons Convention, the Wassenaar Arrangement (WA), the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), the Australia Group and Arms Trade Treaty (ATT).

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs formulates the national export policy and, taking into account international agreements, decides whether activities with dual-use goods and technologies and military equipment goods comply with international obligations. Licenses for such goods in accordance with certain regulations are issued by the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Lithuania. Export to the countries subject to international sanctions is strictly restricted. The license is not issued if this conflicts with the international agreements of the Republic of Lithuania, international sanctions implemented by Lithuania, criteria of the Council Common Position 2008/944/CFSP defining common rules governing control of exports of military technology and equipment as well as those of the Arms Trade Treaty, requirements of international non-proliferation regimes, and interests of foreign policy of the Republic of Lithuania and national security.

    Information on Lithuanian exports of military technology and equipment is published in the Annual Report according to Article 8(2) of Council Common Position 2008/944/CFSP defining common rules governing control of exports of military technology and equipment. The reports are to be found in the EU External Action Service information.

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, implementing the Law on Economic and other International Sanctions of the Republic of Lithuania, co-ordinates the implementation of sanctions in the Republic of Lithuania and provides this information to international organisations. International sanctions are imposed by directly applicable regulations of the European Union and by decrees of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, which implement other EU legislative acts and resolutions of the United Nations. More information on implementation of sanctions may be found at www.urm.lt/sanctions (for more extensive information on international sanctions implementation please address the Lithuanian version www.urm.lt/sankcijos).

    Lithuania pursues, by political, economic, diplomatic and legal measures, the prevention of proliferation of chemical, biological, nuclear and conventional weapons, and implementation of the obligations of export controls.