Russia expresses nuclear fears
A nuclear war would be catastrophic for humanity and Moscow prays that the tense situation in Ukraine will not spiral into this, one of Russia’s top diplomats has claimed after President Vladimir Putin placed the country’s arsenal on high combat alert.
Speaking at a press conference at the UN on Monday, Russia’s permanent representative Vasily Nebenzya responded to journalists’ questions as to whether an atomic strike is looming.
“As for the use of nuclear weapons, I hope God will not allow this,” he said.
Speaking via video-link at the Geneva disarmament conference on Tuesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov argued that there will be no winner if a nuclear war were to erupt.
Moscow’s top diplomat also expressed hope that such a conflict would never take place and called on the US to remove its warheads from Europe. He also accused Kiev of threatening to violate its non-nuclear status.
“It is unacceptable to us that, contrary to the fundamental provisions of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, US atomic armaments are still located on the territory of some European countries,” the official remarked.
He added that “the dangers posed by [Ukrainian President Volodymyr] Zelensky's regime to neighboring countries and international security have increased significantly after Kiev’s authorities played dangerous games related to plans to acquire their own nuclear weapons.”
On Sunday, Putin ordered placing the country’s ground units, equipped with intercontinental ballistic missiles, as well as vessels from the Northern and Pacific Fleets, on high combat alert. He explained the decision comes in the wake of “illegitimate sanctions” against Moscow and “aggressive statements” coming from US and EU officials.
Russia launched its military operation in Ukraine last Thursday following the president’s address to the nation. The goal of the offensive, according to the Kremlin, is “to protect the people [of Donbass] who have been tortured for eight years by the Ukrainian regime.” After several days of fighting, Moscow and Kiev held the first round of negotiations in Belarus on Monday. Further rounds of discussions are expected to resume in the near future.