An unprecedented declaration by the five nuclear-armed states never to use nuclear weapons sets the diplomatic stage for security talks between Russia, the US and NATO that will hopefully ease tensions in Europe.
Russia, China, France, the United States and the United Kingdom promised on Monday to prevent the unintended use of nuclear weapons and reaffirmed the Cold War lesson that “nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.”
The joint statement was issued prior to a crucial review of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which has been postponed twice until sometime in 2022. Russian negotiators are also due to meet with US and NATO officials next week to discuss security guarantees which Moscow is seeking from the allies to make sure that NATO will not move troops and weapons to Ukraine.
“Next to the historical character of the general declaration of the five superpowers involved in the non-proliferation treaty under review, it will help in setting the diplomatic scene for the main negotiation between Russia, the USA and hopefully Europe, in order to solve the tense situation,” Michel Liegeois, a professor of geopolitics at Belgium’s UCLouvain university, said.