The Government have always regarded the prevention of nuclear proliferation as having the highest importance. The way ahead for nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament was set out at the successful nuclear non-proliferation treaty review conference last year.
The United Kingdom played a key role in achieving a positive outcome to that conference, and we have been following through the actions agreed there. Agreed international priorities are to ban the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons and to stop nuclear testing, both by observing the existing moratorium and through the comprehensive test ban treaty.
I thank my right hon. Friend for that answer. What assessment have the Government made of the US Government's refusal to ratify the comprehensive test ban treaty, their stated wish to abandon the anti-ballistic missile treaty and their continuing efforts to develop national missile defence? What are the effects of those on nuclear proliferation?
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State dealt with those points in previous answers. We are involved in a comprehensive review of all matters, following
Does the right hon. Gentleman agree that, given the development of an increasingly pragmatic and more sustainable and sensible relationship with Russia, the forthcoming meeting between Presidents Bush and Putin represents a solid opportunity to come to a proper agreement on a balanced and verifiable reduction to a much lower level of nuclear warheads on both sides?
The answer is a broad yes. We can all take encouragement from those discussions, not only with Russia but with other countries across the board. We are in a new environment, as I commented earlier, and much strength can be taken from that.
Looking ahead 30 years, the MOD sees the threat of a missile attack with weapons of mass destruction as a low risk. Surely after