Ex-Russian president blasts Blinken for nuclear omission
Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has lashed out at US Secretary of State Antony Blinken after the diplomat lamented the suffering of the Japanese people from atomic bombings while failing to mention that his country had carried out the attacks.
Following a summit of G7 foreign ministers in the Japanese town of Karuizawa on Tuesday, Blinken was asked if there was “tangible progress” towards the idea of a world free of nuclear weapons.
Japan is the current chair of the G7 and is set to host a summit of leaders in Hiroshima in May.
Blinken remarked that Hiroshima and Nagasaki offer “the most powerful reminder of unprecedented devastation and immense human suffering that the people of Japan experienced as a result of the atomic bombings of 1945.”
The US dropped nuclear bombs on the two cities in the latter stages of World War II, paving the way for the full occupation of Japan by American troops and undercutting military action by the USSR.
Blinken “did not mention his nation, which committed this crime,” former Russian leader Medvedev noted in response to the remarks.
“What deceitful creatures they are. They use nuclear weapons, but don’t repent for it,” added the official, who currently serves as deputy chair of the Russian National Security Council.
In his remarks in Japan, Blinken explained that G7 foreign ministers had discussed nuclear non-proliferation and arms control on the last day of their summit.
He criticized nations which he claimed posed “nuclear threats,” including North Korea, Iran, Russia, and China. Moscow was targeted by the US diplomat for its suspension of the New START treaty and supposedly “irresponsible nuclear rhetoric,” while Beijing was condemned for allegedly conducting an “opaque and rapid buildup of its own nuclear arsenal.”
New START is the last surviving Cold War-era treaty between Washington and Moscow on nuclear arms control. Moscow suspended its participation in February, claiming that the US had barred Russian inspectors from visiting nuclear sites and that Washington was using Ukraine to attack Russia’s nuclear forces.
Russian President Vladimir Putin noted that the treaty had been signed at a time when the US and its allies, including nuclear powers France and the UK, were not attempting to inflict a “strategic defeat” on Moscow.