Russia blocks final draft nuclear disarmament treaty at UN
A month-long meeting on nuclear disarmament ended in failure at the United Nations on Friday night when Russia refused to accept the final draft of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.
The treaty is reviewed every five years as part of an effort to reduce nuclear risks and stop the expansion of nuclear arsenals around the world.
The breakdown in talks came amid disagreements over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has entered its sixth month.
Russia had tried to make amendments to the treaty that would have « produced chaos » at this late stage of the negotiations, said UN Ambassador Gustavo Zlauvinen.
« It’s like we made a movie this month, but we don’t have the final shot, » Zlauvinen said.
The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons said inaction was inexcusable at a time of heightened risk.
“This result is terminally insignificant and a total abdication of responsibility in the face of a world situation of unacceptable danger,” said the group’s executive director, Beatrice Fihn.
« Nuclear-weapon states have not only failed in their disarmament obligations, but have spent more than $82 billion to maintain and modernize their arsenals, amid heightened risk of nuclear weapons use. than ever, the Review Conference’s failure to take any action is inexcusable,” Fihn added.
Meanwhile, the United States and dozens of other countries issued a joint statement warning of the threat posed by Russia’s takeover of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant – Europe’s largest.
The threat of a nuclear disaster has loomed for months since the plant fell under Russian control in March. Kyiv has repeatedly accused Russian forces of stockpiling heavy weapons inside the complex and using them as cover to launch attacks, knowing that Ukraine cannot retaliate without risking hitting one of the six reactors of the central.
« We condemn the interference of Russian Federation officials in the operations (of the power plant) and efforts to expand Russian Federation control over the plant, » the joint statement said.
« We demand that Russia immediately withdraw its armed forces from Ukraine and return full control of (the plant), as well as all nuclear facilities within the internationally recognized borders of Ukraine, to the competent Ukrainian authorities in order to to ensure their safe operations.”
The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons was first signed in 1968 and entered into force in 1970. One hundred and ninety-one parties have signed it, including the five nuclear-weapon states, according to the UN.