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UN Security Council Takes Up Nuclear Weapons

Feb. 27, 2020 (EIRNS)—The UN Security Council discussed nuclear weapons in a session devoted to the upcoming 50th anniversary of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the five-year review conference soon to follow on April 27 through May 22, 2020. Russian UN envoy Vassily Nebenzia told the session that Moscow expects a response to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s proposal to extend New START without any preconditions.

On the NPT itself, Nebenzia charged that it is the U.S. which is standing in the way of a nuclear weapons-free world. He stressed that the issue of nuclear disarmament has remained one of Russia’s foreign policy priorities. “The military actions taken by the U.S. and NATO over the past decades as well as Washington’s threats against a number of states, including Russia, only postpone the goal of creating a nuclear-weapons-free world,” Nebenzia said.

Acting U.S. Deputy Ambassador Cherith Norman Chalet agreed that advancing to a world without nuclear weapons “must take into account the global security environment.” However, she blamed Russia and China for the difficulties. “We cannot overlook the actions of those states that are expanding and modernizing their nuclear stockpiles, as well as developing exotic delivery systems, threatening their neighbors, and violating their arms control agreements,” she said, reported the Associated Press.

UN disarmament chief Izumi Nakamitsu warned that the specter of an unbridled nuclear arms race is threatening the world for the first time since the 1970s. “So-called great power competition is the order of the day,” Nakamitsu said. “Division, distrust and a dearth of dialogue are increasingly the norm.” Nakamitsu warned that “the specter of unconstrained nuclear competition looms over us for the first time since the 1970s.”

“We are witnessing what has been termed a qualitative nuclear arms race—one not based on numbers but on faster, stealthier and more accurate weapons,” she said. “Regional conflicts with a nuclear dimension are worsening, and proliferation challenges are not receding.”

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