Russia protests the document’s final form

Russia objects to the final document

For four weeks, the United Nations treaty—regarded as the cornerstone of nuclear disarmament—has been up for review. Russia delayed the agreement on the final document late on Friday, which blasted its military takeover of the biggest nuclear plant in Europe shortly after Russian forces invaded Ukraine and stoked worries of a nuclear disaster.

Nuclear Weapons Are Limited

Igor Vishnevetsky, deputy head of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Non-Proliferation and Arms Control Department, said during the conference’s postponed last session about the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty that “sadly, there is no unity on this document.” He noted that in the 36-page final document, “many states, not only Russia, didn’t accept a whole variety of concerns.” The final draught must be approved by all conference participants who are parties to the treaty intended to restrict the spread of nuclear weapons and eventually create a world free of them.

At a time when “our world is increasingly wracked by conflicts and, most alarmingly, the ever-growing prospect of the unthinkable nuclear war,” the conference’s president, Argentine Ambassador Gustavo Zlauvinen, said the final draught represented his best efforts to address divergent viewpoints and the parties’ expectations “for a progressive outcome.” But once Vishnevetsky ended, Zlauvinen told the audience, “I see that at this point, the conference is not in a position to establish unanimity on its substantive goal.”

The meeting was altered by the Russia-Ukraine war.

The dynamics of the summit were altered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24. As a result, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that his nation is a “potent” nuclear power and that any attempt to interfere would have “consequences you have never seen.” He also increased the nuclear arsenal of Russia’s alert status. Since then, Putin has revised his stance, saying that “a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be waged,” which was supported on August 2nd during the first day of the NPT conference by a senior Russian official.

The capture of the Chornobyl nuclear facility, the world’s worst nuclear disaster in 1986, the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in southeast Ukraine, and the initial Russian leader’s warning, however, all rekindled concerns of a fresh nuclear catastrophe. The NPT parties would have been required to express “grave concern for the military activity” at or around the site and other nuclear reactors if the Zaporizhzhia plant had been mentioned four times in the final draught declaration, where Russia and Ukraine accuse one another of bombarding the facility.

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