The US has accused “cynical” Russia of blocking the UN text on nuclear weapons

The United States on Sunday condemned Russia’s “cynical obstructionism” after Moscow blocked the adoption of a joint declaration on nuclear non-proliferation following protracted international talks at the United Nations.

The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), which 191 signatory countries review every five years, aims to stop the proliferation of nuclear weapons, promote complete disarmament and develop cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

Russia on Friday blocked the adoption of the declaration, saying it contradicted the “political” aspects of the text, a move criticized by Washington.

“After weeks of intense but productive negotiations, the Russian Federation alone decided to block consensus on the final document” at the end of a four-week review conference on the NPT, State Department Deputy Press Secretary Vedant Patel said in a statement.

He said Moscow’s move was made “to block expressions that simply acknowledge the serious radiological danger at the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine,” a major nuclear facility currently occupied by the Russian military.

The latest draft of the text expressed “serious concern” over military activity surrounding Ukrainian power plants, including Zaporozhye, as well as Ukraine’s loss of control over such facilities and the negative impact on security.

The Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, the largest nuclear power plant in Europe, was seized by Russian forces in early March, shortly after Moscow launched its deadly invasion of Ukraine on February 24. The facility is located near the battle front in southeastern Ukraine.

Kyiv and Moscow repeatedly exchanged accusations of shelling the nuclear power plant, and its operator warned of the risk of radioactive leakage.

“Despite Russia’s cynical obstruction, the fact that all other parties supported the final document demonstrates the treaty’s essential role in preventing nuclear proliferation,” said the State Department’s Patel.

He repeated Washington’s call to Russia to stop military activity near Zaporozhye “and return control of the plant to Ukraine.”

Meanwhile, neutral and nuclear-free Austria on Saturday condemned the position of major powers, and not only Russia, at the negotiations.

“While three-quarters of the 191 signatory states support credible progress on nuclear disarmament, the main opposition has been from nuclear-weapon states, most notably Russia,” the government said in a statement in Vienna.

It notes that, contrary to treaty obligations, Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States are improving or expanding their stockpiles of nuclear weapons.

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The new shelling of the Ukrainian nuclear plant raises concerns about radiation

Kyiv, Ukraine (AFP), August 27, 2022

Ukraine and Russia exchanged fresh accusations over the shelling of the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant on Saturday, when its operator warned of the risk of a radioactive leak. The Zaporozhye plant in southern Ukraine has been occupied by Russian troops since the beginning of March. Kyiv and Moscow have repeatedly accused each other of missile attacks on the area of ‚Äč‚ÄčEurope’s largest plant, located in the city of Energodar. On Saturday, its Ukrainian operator “Energaatom” said that Russian troops “repeated … read on The US has accused “cynical” Russia of blocking the UN text on nuclear weapons

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