Russia Objects To NATO Buildup At NPT Preparatory Meeting

Russia Objects To NATO Buildup At NPT Preparatory Meeting

Aug. 2, 2023, 7:44 a.m.

Delegates attending the preparatory session in Austria for the 2026 Review Conference of parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons heard from the Russian representative on Tuesday. Mikhail Kondratenkov said NATO has become a "military nuclear bloc" whose combined strategic capability exceeds that of Russia.

Kondratenkov said the military budgets of NATO countries and their allies amount to about two-thirds of global expenditures. He added he has "heard reports" that the US and their allies have plans to station nuclear weapons in Eastern Europe.

Polish representative Adam Bugajski criticized the Russians for deploying nuclear weapons in Belarus. He said the move breaches their commitments under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Bugajski also pointed to Russian troops illegally occupying the Zaporizhzhia nuclear complex and said their actions are "in clear contradiction" of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Kondratenkov called the accusations "purely cynical." He said Poland is one of the countries trying to host NATO nuclear weapons, and those who blame Russia for violating IAEA rules should either prove the accusation or "keep it to themselves."

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