Blinken says Russia is using Ukraine’s nuclear plants as “the equivalent of a”
Blinken says Russia is using Ukraine’s nuclear plants as “the equivalent of a”

Blinken says Russia is using Ukraine’s nuclear plants as “the equivalent of a”

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Union of nations – Secretary of State Anthony Brinken said: at the United Nations at what he called a “crucial moment” in trying to keep the world safe from nuclear threats on Monday.

At the opening ceremony of the 10th Annual Conference on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) at the United Nations, Blinken said North Korea’s “illegal nuclear program” and Iran’s “ongoing provocations” and “nuclear escalation path”. , records the Russian attack on Ukraine.include Take control of the largest nuclear power plant in Europe.

“We are very concerned about the fact that Russia has taken over Ukraine’s nuclear facilities, in particular at Zaporizhia, one of the largest nuclear facilities in Europe,” Brinken said.

“There are credible reports, including in the media today, that the Russians are using this plant on par with human shields, but nuclear shields in the sense that they are shelling Ukraine from around the plant. Yes, of course the Ukrainians cannot and will not fight back to prevent a terrible accident involving a nuclear power plant from happening,” Brinken added, adding, “That would be the pinnacle of irresponsibility.”

Zaporizhia Nuclear Power Plant
Archive photo of the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant in southeastern Ukraine on July 9, 2019.

Future publications by Dmytro Smolenko/Getty Images

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director-General Rafael Grossi and UN Secretary-General António Guterres also attended UN Headquarters in New York on the first day of the Nuclear Review Conference, which has been postponed from 2020, amid increasing threats and threats from nuclear. weapon. is doing. Nuclear security is a growing concern among world leaders.

“Today, humanity is just a misunderstanding, a miscalculation away from nuclear annihilation,” said the UN Secretary-General.

Grossi, the head of the international watchdog, said the war in Ukraine was “so serious that the specter of a potential confrontation or nuclear accident has again raised its frightening head”.

Grossi warned more specifically about the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine, saying that “the situation is becoming more dangerous by the day”.

He said last week it was “urgent” because authorities had not been able to visit the site since the conflict began five months ago. It doesn’t make sense to do nothing when it escalates. ”

“If there is an accident at the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant, we have only the blame, not the natural disaster, but only ourselves,” Grossi said, adding, “We need everyone’s help.”

Blinken told CBS News at a press conference, “Ukraine gave up the (nuclear) weapons it inherited when the Soviet Union was dissolved because of Russia’s promise to respect and protect its sovereignty, independence and structural integrity. I have the confidence to do it.”

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken
Secretary of State Antony Brinken speaks to the media after attending the 10th Annual Review of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty at United Nations Headquarters in New York City on August 1, 2022.

Getty Images

“The fact that Russia is doing the opposite today sends a frightening message to countries around the world who are making decisions about whether or not to develop nuclear weapons, in an attempt to strip their sovereignty and independence. attacked Ukraine without a trace,” Blinken said.

He referred to the 1994 Budapest Memorandum. It was a post-Soviet agreement under which the United States, Russia and Britain pledged to “respect the independence and sovereignty of Ukraine and its existing borders” and to “refrain from threats.” According to a Brookings analysis, this persuaded Ukraine to give up “the world’s third largest nuclear arsenal, consisting of some 1,900 strategic nuclear warheads.”

The Non-Proliferation Treaty, enacted in 1968 to prevent the proliferation of weapons technology, seeks to minimize the number of nuclear weapons states, but keeping the nuclear genie in a bottle is an uphill battle. have done. Back then, the nuclear powers were Britain, China, France, and Russia (then the Soviet Union), and the number of nuclear weapons in possession had declined since the height of the Cold War. Since then, however, India, Pakistan and North Korea have developed nuclear weapons, and Israel, which is believed to have nuclear weapons, neither confirms nor denies the existence of such programs.

Iran has been pursuing a nuclear program since the United States withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal, but has yet to build a weapon. Iran’s nuclear chief said this week that Iran has the capability to build nuclear weapons but has no plans to do so.

The UN conference will continue until August, and there is no doubt that the nuclear activities of North Korea and Iran will be discussed on a daily basis.

North Korea “continues to expand its illicit nuclear program and continues its continued provocations against the region,” Blinken said. “As we gather today, North Korea is preparing to conduct its seventh nuclear test.”

The Secretary-General’s assessment of the nuclear threat is dire.

Guterres headed to Hiroshima over the weekend to mark the anniversary of the US nuclear bombing in World War II – an event that did not escape the event’s speakers. The warning is can use nuclear weapons Added “global concern about the real possibility of another catastrophe from the use of nuclear weapons” in the Ukraine war.

So blink The threat posed by China About Candidates for Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi Visit Taiwan, an autonomous island that China has decided to re-integrate with the mainland.

“The chairman will make his own decision whether to visit Taiwan or not. Congress is an independent and equal governing body. The decision is entirely the responsibility of the chairman,” said Blinken.

“If the chairman decides to visit and China tries to create some kind of crisis or escalate tensions, that’s entirely up to Beijing,” Blinken said. We seek them to act responsibly and not to engage in future escalation if they decide to do so.”

On Monday, China’s Ambassador to the United Nations Zhang Jun said China would defend its security and sovereignty if Pelosi visited Taiwan. He called the potential visit “provocative and serious.”

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