MOSCOW, Russia (Reuters) – According to a joint statement released by the Kremlin on Monday, China, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States, and France have agreed that a further spread of nuclear weapons and the outbreak of a nuclear war should be prevented.
It stated that the five countries – who are permanent members of the United Nations Security Council – believe it is their primary responsibility to prevent war between nuclear-armed states and to reduce strategic risks, while also aiming to collaborate with all countries in order to create an atmosphere of security in the world.
“We affirm that there can be no winners in a nuclear war, and that it should never be initiated,” the statement’s Russian translation stated.
“As the deployment of nuclear weapons would have far-reaching implications, we affirm that nuclear weapons should be used to defend against aggression, dissuade aggression from occurring, and prevent war from occurring for as long as they are in existence.”
The statement was also released by France, which emphasised that the five nuclear-weapons states had reaffirmed their commitment to nuclear arms control and disarmament. It was said that they would continue to pursue bilateral and multilateral methods to nuclear weapons limitation.
Increased geopolitical tensions exist between Moscow and Western nations as a result of concerns over Russia’s military buildup in the region around neighbouring Ukraine, according to the statement. Moscow asserts that it has the ability to move its army throughout its own territory as it sees fit.
Last Thursday, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden warned his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin that a hypothetical move against Ukraine would result in sanctions and an enhanced U.S. presence in Europe, where tensions are high following Russia’s military buildup along the country’s border with Ukraine.
(Andrey Ostroukh contributed reporting, and Kevin Liffey and Angus MacSwan edited the piece.)