As Russian President Vladimir Putin escalated the war in Ukraine, U.S. President Joe Biden decried Putin’s nuclear threats as “irresponsible.”
Russia and the United States suspended inspections in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic; Russia has extended the pause.
Russia called a special meeting to reaffirm bioweapons charges against Ukraine and the United States but has offered no evidence.
As weapons shipments flood Ukraine, states-parties to the Arms Trade Treaty are discussing improving controls over weapons after they have been delivered.
The United States and Russia agree to language supporting arms control talks on a successor to New START at the 10th review conference for the NPT. Moscow temporarily pauses New START on-site inspections. Washington sees no possibility of imminent Russian nuclear use.
The 10th NPT Review Conference ended without consensus after four weeks of contentious negotiations. Russia decided to block consensus due to certain wording regarding nuclear safety matters at Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant.
In addition to increasing human suffering and reminding the world of the risks of nuclear weapons, the Russian war on Ukraine halted U.S. and Russian arms control talks that are necessary to maintain verifiable caps on, perhaps even reduce, the world’s largest nuclear arsenals. But now there is an opportunity for renewing disarmament diplomacy.
Despite the disappointing outcome, NPT states-parties still hope Russia and the United States will honor pledges to resume nuclear negotiations.
Russia’s occupation of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant has created a risk of a nuclear disaster in an active combat zone.
The Russian move could unravel the last remaining treaty restraining Russian and U.S. strategic nuclear arsenals.
Moscow offers no evidence for claim of violation by Ukraine and the United States.
The clock is ticking down on the last remaining U.S.-Russian nuclear arms control treaty, leaving open the possibility that the world’s two largest nuclear arsenals may soon be entirely unconstrained — a harrowing reality understood by most countries, which urge quick action.
For the foreseeable future, the United States will likely continue to provide Ukraine with substantial military assistance in accordance with the needs of the Ukrainian armed forces to repel the Russian offensive. Oversight of the assistance provided to Ukraine can ensure the weapons are used for the intended purposes and not diverted elsewhere, especially after the conflict.