Publication: Monitor Volume: 4 Issue: 97

Russia warned Pakistan on May 18 that the conduct by Islamabad of a nuclear test would yield an international reaction “no less harsh” than that which occurred following the recent underground nuclear tests conducted by India. That statement, released by Kremlin spokesman Sergei Yastrzhembsky, came on the same day that Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin received the Pakistani ambassador to Moscow. (Russian agencies, May 18) Yesterday, Russia’s Foreign Ministry issued another statement calling on Pakistan “to show maximum restraint in connection with Indian tests and to abide by international nuclear nonproliferation norms.” (Itar-Tass, May 19)

It is unclear whether Pakistan will be deterred from conducing nuclear weapons tests of its own by such warnings of “harsh” international reaction as that issued by Moscow. The Group of Eight leaders meeting in Birmingham this past weekend failed to agree on a coordinated program of sanctions against India for its tests. Russia, in particular, has made clear its disinclination to level sanctions against India (a key ally of Moscow). Moreover, Russian Atomic Energy Minister Yevgeny Adamov announced on May 18 that Russia was unlikely even to end cooperation with India in the field of nuclear energy. (Itar-Tass, May 18)