Mon. Jan 24th, 2022

The nuclear-armed nations of the United States, Britain, China, France and Russia have agreed to avoid nuclear war and to prevent the proliferation of such weapons and an arms race.

(cnn.com)

The five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council issued the rare joint statement on Monday, stating they affirm that “a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.”

The statement states the countries affirm that nuclear weapons should be defensive and a deterrent against aggression and war, and that the super powers “believe strongly” the further spread of such munitions must be prevented.

“We underline our desire to work with all states to create a security environment more conducive to progress on disarmament with the ultimate goal of a world without nuclear weapons with undiminished security for all,” they said.

“We intend to continue seeking bilateral and multilateral diplomatic approaches to avoid military confrontations, strengthen stability and predictability, increase mutual understanding and confidence and prevent an arms race that would benefit no one and endanger all,” they added.

The statement was released a day before the 91 parties to the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Treaty were to meet in New York to review the document but the conference was postponed last month due to Covid-19 related issues.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters Monday that the statement was prepared on the Kremlin’s initiative with its promulgation to be carried out with the treaty’s review but “given the importance and self-sufficiency of this joint statement, the nuclear powers decided not to postpone its publication.”

“The statement reflects an important idea for us of inadmissibility between nuclear states of any war — both nuclear and conventional weapons,” she said. “It also reaffirms the commitments of the five countries earlier not to target nuclear weapons at each other or at third countries.”

The statement was issued as worries mount that Russia will further invade Ukraine as a Moscow military buildup has been observed at their shared border and amid the growing competition between Washington and Beijing as the latter seeks to expand its influence.

President Joe Biden has warned Russian President Vladimir Putin that there will be consequences if Russian troops invade Kiev, and on Sunday promised Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky over the phone that the United States and its allies would “respond decisively” if they did.

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