Russian President Vladimir Putin said that there are no winners in a nuclear war and it should never be unleashed. The head of state said this in his welcoming speech to the participants and guests of the 10th Conference on the Review of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), which began on August 1.
“As a state party to the NPT and one of its depositaries, Russia consistently follows the letter and spirit of the Treaty. Our obligations under bilateral agreements with the United States on the reduction and limitation of relevant weapons have also been fully fulfilled,” Putin said.
Russia stands for equal security for all members of the world community, the Russian leader emphasized. All countries that comply with the requirements of the NPT should have the right to access civilian nuclear energy without additional conditions, Putin added. In addition, the president pointed out, Russia considers the objective and depoliticized application of the IAEA mechanism to be extremely important.
Earlier, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said at the 10th NPT Conference that the danger of the use of nuclear weapons in the world has reached a level that has not been observed since the height of the Cold War.
“Humanity is in danger of forgetting the lessons learned from the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Geopolitical tensions have reached new heights. <...> States are trying to provide imaginary security by stockpiling and investing billions of dollars in doomsday weapons that have no place on our planet, ”the organization’s secretary general said in a statement (quoted from TASS).
Russian nuclear rhetoric
After the start of a military special operation in Ukraine in late February, Russian President Vladimir Putin instructed the Ministry of Defense to transfer the deterrent forces of the Russian army (including, in particular, nuclear weapons) to a “special mode of service.”
In April 2022, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov declaredthat Moscow’s principled position is to prevent the use of nuclear weapons. Minister in absentia answered US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, who condemned such rhetoric as “counterproductive” and added that Washington “will not participate in this.”
At the end of May, Deputy Head of the Russian Security Council Dmitry Medvedev declaredthat a potential conflict between NATO and Russia could escalate into a nuclear war.