Cape Town – US President Joe Biden called on Russia’s Vladimir Putin to act in good faith in his bid to pursue a new nuclear arms deal with Moscow.
Biden’s appeal comes when nuclear danger is at a high not seen since the Cold War, however, his counterpart Putin said there could be no winners in any nuclear war.
The two leaders had issued written statements as diplomats gather for a month-long UN conference to review the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). The event was was initially scheduled to take place in 2020, but got delayed due to the Covid-19 global pandemic.
“Humanity is just one misunderstanding, one miscalculation away from nuclear annihilation,” said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres at the conference, and warned that “nuclear undertones are festering”, referring to North Korea, the Russia-Ukraine crisis and the Middle East.
Meanwhile, US-China tensions continue to rise over Taiwan, the situation between North Korea, the US and South Korea remains a concern with leader of the North, Kim Jong-un, recently saying the country was “fully ready for any military confrontation” with the US.
“My administration is ready to expeditiously negotiate a new arms control framework to replace New START when it expires in 2026,” said Biden. “But negotiation requires a willing partner operating in good faith.”
“Russia should demonstrate that it is ready to resume work on nuclear arms control with the US,” he said.
In response, Putin wrote in his letter to the NPT that “there can be no winners in a nuclear war and it should never be unleashed, and we stand for equal and indivisible security for all members of the world community.”