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11 Mar, 2024 16:10

Moscow responds to Chinese initiative on nukes

Beijing has called for the world’s largest nuclear-armed states to negotiate a new treaty
Moscow responds to Chinese initiative on nukes

Proposals regarding international security should be considered in the context of global realities, Moscow has said, after China called for the world’s largest nuclear powers to negotiate a new treaty.

The Russian Foreign Ministry told business daily RBK that Moscow and Beijing treat each other’s initiatives with special attention and deep respect, adding that both nations were determined to further progress bilateral relations.

It said that China’s proposal needed to be considered in light of military and political realities, along with other factors concerning international security and strategic stability. It referred specifically to a deterioration in relations between the ‘Nuclear Five’ powers – Britain, France, the US, China and Russia.

Moscow said reducing confrontation between nuclear-armed states by eliminating “fundamental contradictions in the field of security” was an issue of “absolute priority.”

Last month, the head of the arms control department of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Sun Xiaobo, called on nuclear states to fulfill their “special and priority responsibilities” on disarmament under the UN Conference on Disarmament, which seeks to prevent atomic war. He said nuclear-armed nations should negotiate and conclude a treaty on non-first use of nuclear weapons against each other or make a political statement in this regard.

Russia and the US, the world’s two biggest nuclear powers, suspended contact in the sphere of nuclear arms control following the launch of Moscow’s offensive against Ukraine. Earlier this year, Moscow dismissed Washington’s proposal to resume dialogue, saying this was impossible while the White House continues to provide military support to Kiev. In November, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a bill revoking Russia’s ratification of a global nuclear test ban to establish parity with the US.

He has repeatedly said Russia would never deploy its nuclear weapons except in the event of a nuclear strike on Russian territory or a non-nuclear military threat to the country’s existence.

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