Nuclear risk after Russia decided to stop participating in the Intercontinental Nuclear Weapons Treaty. The head of NATO asked the Kremlin to reconsider its decision. Vladimir Putin vows not to launch nuclear weapons test first On Monday, while Biden was in Kiev, Russia had already tested a missile.
By Observer Editorial Board on 22.02.2023, 20:25
Moscow’s suspension from the latest nuclear arms control treaty could push the world into a new arms race. The new initiative limited the number of intercontinental nuclear weapons the United States and Russia could possess. The two powers, which own more than 90 percent of the planet’s nuclear arsenals, can no longer inspect each other’s strategic installations.
First among nuclear weapons states
Russia has a huge arsenal. We are talking about 6,257 nuclear weapons. Experts estimate that about 1,500 missile, bomber or submarine bases currently exist. The Russian military has 310 ballistic missiles, 68 fighter jets and 11 submarines. The US has approximately 5,550 nuclear weapons, 400 ballistic missiles, 66 bombers and 12 submarines. Next is China, which officially has 350 nuclear weapons, 90 ballistic missiles, and superiority in terms of strategic bombers – 230.
France is in fourth place with 290 nuclear weapons. However, the French have no ballistic missiles, but only 40 bombers and 4 submarines. Great Britain also has 4 nuclear powered submarines. And the arsenal is completed with 225 active warships.
India, Pakistan and North Korea also have nuclear weapons. There is no official information on Israel, but it is estimated to have between 75 and 400 nuclear weapons.
Of the NATO member states, the United States is the only country with nuclear weapons in Europe, followed by Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Turkey.
Fresh start nuclear deal, deadlock
A new start deal has long been frozen, so Putin’s announcement is seen as highly symbolic. The studies were no longer held due to the Covid pandemic, and later, Moscow did not allow them.
“This is one way for the President of the Russian Federation to warn the White House that he wants to solve such a problem as part of bilateral negotiations with the United States. The generals in Moscow know very well that it is a moment of decision. Having sent the first nuclear missile, the response will be proportional, immediate and at least two nuclear powers, namely the United States and the Great “Britain has declared since last year that any assistance to nuclear weapons will not go unpunished,” said Col. (R) Ion Petrescu, military analyst.
Reactions after Russia’s announcement
NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg warned that Moscow was destroying the balance. “More nuclear weapons and less control make the world more dangerous. That is why I am calling today to reconsider Russia’s decision,” said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
In his State of the Nation address, Vladimir Putin talked at length about equipping the military with new nuclear capabilities. “The Russian Ministry of Defense must ensure the test production of Russian nuclear weapons. Of course, we will not do this first,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said.
Apart from actions beyond words. On Monday, while Biden was in Kiev, Russia reportedly conducted a Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile test that appeared to have failed, CNN reported.
In this tense environment, the US President wanted to send a direct message to Russian citizens. “I am speaking again to the Russian people. The West is not plotting to attack Russia, as Putin said today, and the millions of Russian citizens who want to live in peace with their neighbors are not our enemies,” Joe Biden insisted. President of the United States.
And China, the world’s third nuclear power, is making strategic moves. A top diplomat from Beijing arrived in Moscow for talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and the Russian president. Wang’s visit to Moscow may precede a meeting between Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping. All in the context of a peace plan proposed by China.
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