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Tuesday, February 7, 2023
HomeWorldAntonio Guterres calls for an end to 'nuclear blackmail'

Antonio Guterres calls for an end to ‘nuclear blackmail’

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The Cold War had brought humanity to the brink of annihilation, the UN chief recalled in a special session of the General Assembly on the occasion of the World Day for the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons and added that “today, decades after the fall of the Berlin Wall, we hear nuclear intimidation again”.

“The era of nuclear blackmail must end,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said today, calling for the “elimination” of all nuclear weapons following Russia’s threats to use them in Ukraine.

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The Cold War had brought humanity to the brink of annihilation, the UN chief recalled in a special session of the General Assembly on the occasion of the World Day for the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons and added that “today, decades after the fall of the Berlin Wall, we hear nuclear intimidation again”.

“Let’s be clear. The era of nuclear blackmail must end. The idea that a country can provoke and win a nuclear war is absurd,” he said, adding that “without the elimination of nuclear weapons there can be no peace or sense of security.”

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Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin threatened to use “all means” at his disposal to defend his country, heightening concern about the risk of a nuclear conflict for the first time since 1945.

Antonio Guterres, who visited Hiroshima last August for the 77th anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb, also expressed his sadness at the outcome of the conference to revise the treaty on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons.

After four weeks of negotiations between 191 countries, Russia blocked the adoption of a joint declaration, mainly due to references to Ukraine’s Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, which is under the control of the Russian military.

Last week, the US asked Russia to stop launching nuclear threats amid the war in Ukraine, warning once again that the use of nuclear weapons would have catastrophic consequences.

RES-EMP

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