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Russia opposes the adoption of a text on nuclear disarmament at the UN
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Russia opposes the adoption of a text on nuclear disarmament at the UN

At the end of the four-week UN review conference on the treaty on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons (NPT), Russia prevented the adoption of a joint declaration on Friday August 27, denouncing the terms “politics”.

The 191 signatories to the NPT, which aims to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons, promote complete disarmament and promote cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear energy, have met at United Nations headquarters in New York since 1er august.

But despite a month of negotiations and a final session postponed for several hours on Friday, “the conference is not in a position to reach an agreement”said the president of the conference, the Argentinian Gustavo Zlauvinen, after the intervention of Russia.

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While decisions are taken by consensus, the Russian representative, Igor Vishnevetsky, has indeed denounced the lack of” balance “ in the final draft text of more than 30 pages. “Our delegation has a key objection to certain paragraphs which are shamelessly political”he said, repeating several times that Russia was not the only country to have objections to the text in general.

“Humanity miscalculated annihilation”

According to sources close to the negotiations, Russia was particularly opposed to the paragraphs concerning the Ukrainian nuclear power plant in Zaporizhia, occupied by the Russian military. The last text on the table, seen by Agence France-Presse (AFP), underlined a “great concern” regarding military activities around Ukrainian power plants, including Zaporizhia, the ” loss of control “ by Ukraine from these sites and “significant impact on safety”.

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Other sensitive elements for certain States were also under discussion during these four weeks, in particular the Iranian nuclear program and the North Korean nuclear tests. At the last review conference in 2015, the parties were also unable to reach agreement on substantive issues.

In all cases, “what is really problematic is that with or without text, it does nothing to reduce the level of nuclear threat at this time”, Beatrice Fihn, who heads the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), told AFP on Friday. The draft text was “very weak, and detached from reality”she added, noting the absence “concrete disarmament commitments”.

At the opening of the conference, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres felt that such a “nuclear danger does not[avait] not been known since the height of the Cold War”. “Today, humanity is at a misunderstanding, a miscalculation of nuclear annihilation”he warned.

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