Putin Downplays Nuclear War as World Leaders Reaffirm Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty

Headline Roundup August 1st, 2022

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday said that there could be "no winners in a nuclear war" and that one "should never be unleashed."

Putin’s statement was directed at the diplomats reaffirming the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). The month-long United Nations conference, which was initially scheduled for 2020 but was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will see world leaders reiterate the importance of denuclearization. Kicking off the series of meeting in New York, UN Secretary-General António Guterres warned that "humanity is just one miscalculation away from nuclear annihilation" due to a nuclear danger that hasn't been detected "since the height of the Cold War." Four of the nine known nuclear-armed countries — India, Israel, North Korea and Pakistan — are not signatories to the treaty. North Korea, which previously pledged to suspend nuclear testing, has repeatedly  threatened to use its "nuclear war deterrent" against the U.S. 

Outlets across the spectrum noted Putin's "change of tone" from the start of his invasion of Ukraine when he warned protruding Western nations would face "consequences you have never seen" — a statement that was "widely interpreted to be a nuclear threat."

From the Left

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday urged countries to reduce their nuclear stockpiles, warning that "humanity is just one misunderstanding, one miscalculation away from nuclear annihilation."

"Almost 13,000 nuclear weapons are now being held in arsenals around the world. All this at a time when the risks of proliferation are growing and guardrails to prevent escalation are weakening," Guterres said at a conference in New York of countries that are party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). 

"The clouds that parted following the end of the Cold War...

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From the Right

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Monday that a nuclear war “should never” be launched — as the head of the United Nations warned that the strongman’s Ukraine war is “one misunderstanding, one miscalculation away” from putting the world in danger of nuclear annihilation.

Putin’s comments came in a letter to participants at a UN conference to reaffirm the nuclear non-proliferation treaty that began Monday.

“We proceed from the fact that there can be no winners in a nuclear war and it should never be unleashed, and we stand for equal and...

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From the Center

U.S. President Joe Biden said on Monday he is ready to pursue a new nuclear arms deal with Russia and called on Moscow to act in good faith as his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin said there could be no winners in any nuclear war.

Both leaders issued written statements as diplomats gathered for a month-long U.N. conference to review the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). It was supposed to take place in 2020 but was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It occurs at a time of nuclear...

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