UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is concerned by rising tensions between nuclear-armed states, warning “the world will lose an invaluable brake on nuclear war” with the expiration of the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) on Friday.
“This will likely heighten, not reduce, the threat posed by ballistic missiles,” Guterres told reporters. “Regardless of what transpires, the parties should avoid destabilizing developments and urgently seek agreement on a new common path for international arms control.”
Barring a last-minute decision by Russia to destroy a new medium-range missile that NATO says violates the INF, the United States is set to pull out of the accord on August 2, arguing that it needs to develop its own warheads to deter Moscow.
Moscow says it is fully compliant with the treaty, negotiated by former US President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, which eliminated the medium-range missile arsenals of the world’s two biggest nuclear powers.
The breakdown of the treaty, the latest in a growing list of East-West tensions, is of grave concern because medium-range rockets would allow Russia to launch a nuclear attack on Europe at very short notice, Western experts and officials say.
“I strongly encourage the United States and the Russian Federation to extend the so-called New Start agreement to provide stability and the time to negotiate future arms control measures,” Guterres said.
The 2011 New START treaty, a US-Russia arms control pact which limits deployed strategic nuclear weapons, is set to expire in February 2021 but can be extended for five years if both sides agree.
نستخدم ملفات الكوكيز لنسهل عليك استخدام مواقعنا الإلكترونية ونكيف المحتوى والإعلانات وفقا لمتطلباتك واحتياجاتك الخاصة، لتوفير ميزات وسائل التواصل الاجتماعية ولتحليل حركة المرور لدينا...اعرف أكثر