Russia prevents the adoption by the UN of a text in favor of nuclear disarmament, which worried about the situation of the nuclear plants in Ukraine

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has raised fears about nuclear weapons. In this charged context, the 191 signatory countries of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) were to adopt, on Friday August 26, a joint declaration after a month of talks at the UN headquarters in New York. But the opposition of Russia prevented this agreement.

The Russian representative, Igor Vishnevetsky, intervened to denounce the absence of“balance” in the final draft text, raising “a key objection to certain paragraphs which are shamelessly political” in this text of more than 30 pages. Without specifying the nature of the passages to which he opposed, he assured that Russia was not the only country to have objections.

AFP, which consulted the latest version of the draft text, claims that it expressed a “great concern” concerning the military activities around the Ukrainian power stations, in particular that of Zaporijjia. He lamented the “loss of control” by Ukraine from these sites and “the significant impact on safety” of this situation, caused by the Russian occupation.

“The conference is not in a position to reach an agreement”declared the Argentinian Gustavo Zlauvinen, who chaired it, after the intervention of Russia.

An often difficult consensus

The debates around this joint declaration also covered other sensitive subjects, such as Iran’s nuclear program and the nuclear tests carried out by North Korea.

The text that failed to pass on Friday was not a binding agreement, but a joint declaration under the NPT, which aims to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons, promote complete disarmament and promote cooperation for the peaceful use nuclear energy.

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The adoption of these joint declarations requires the consensus of all the signatory countries. At the previous treaty review conference in 2015, discussions did not lead to an agreement either.

This time, the aborted draft text was “very weak, and detached from reality”and did not contain “concrete disarmament commitments”assured AFP, Beatrice Fihn, who leads the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. “What is really problematic is that with or without text, it does nothing to reduce the level of nuclear threat at this time”she said.

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