Russia on Friday night blocked an agreement on the final document of a review of the United Nations treaty considered the mainstay of nuclear disarmament, which criticized its military takeover of Europe’s largest nuclear power plant shortly after its invasion of Ukraine, which has raised fears of a nuclear disaster.

“Unfortunately, there is no consensus on this document,” Igor Vishnevetsky, deputy director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Non-Proliferation and Arms Control Department, said during the final meeting of a long-delayed four-week conference to review the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Nuclear (TNP), reached 50 years ago. The Russian official insisted that many countries, not just his own, did not agree with “a whole series of issues” contained in the 36 pages of the latest draft.

The final document had to be approved by all the participants in the conference, who sign a treaty that seeks to stop the expansion of nuclear weapons and, ultimately, achieve a world without them.

Argentine Ambassador Gustavo Zlauvinen, chairman of the conference, said the final draft represented his best efforts to address the divergent views and expectations of participants “for a progressive outcome” at a historic moment when “our world is increasingly plagued by conflict and, more alarmingly, by the ever-increasing prospect of an unthinkable nuclear war.”

But following Vishnevetsky’s intervention, Zlauvinen told delegates: “I see that at the moment, the conference is not in a position to reach agreement on this fundamental work.”

The NPT review conference is due to be held every five years, but was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. This was the second time that the 191 participating states failed to reach a final document. The last meeting, in 2015, ended without agreement due to serious differences over the establishment of a zone free of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East.

Those differences have not disappeared, but they remain under discussion, and draft final documents obtained by The Associated Press would have reaffirmed the importance of their creation. So that wouldn’t have been a major hurdle this year.

The issue that altered the dynamics of the conference this time was the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which began on February 24 and led President Vladimir Putin to warn that Moscow is a “potent” nuclear power and that any attempt to intervene could lead to ” consequences never seen before.” In addition, the president put the country’s nuclear forces on high alert.

Since then, Putin has backtracked, saying “a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought,” a message reiterated by a senior Russian official on the opening day of the conference on August 2.

But the initial threat from the Russian leader and the occupation of the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant in southeastern Ukraine, as well as the seizure of Chernobyl, the scene of the worst nuclear disaster in history in 1986, renewed global fear of another emergency. nuclear.

The four references in the draft of the final document to the Zaporizhia plant, where Moscow and kyiv accuse each other of carrying out bombings, would have caused the NPT participants to express their “serious concern about military activities” in or near the facilities , and in other nuclear plants.

In addition, he would have recognized the loss of control by Ukraine and the inability of the International Atomic Energy Agency to guarantee the protection of the plant’s nuclear material. He also backed the IAEA’s efforts to visit Zaporizhia to ensure its nuclear material is not diverted, a trip the head of the UN atomic agency hopes to organize in the coming days.

The draft also expressed “great concern” for the safety of Ukrainian nuclear facilities, especially that of Zaporizhia, and stressed “the paramount importance of ensuring the control of the competent Ukrainian authorities.”

The nations further expressed deep concern that Russia is undermining international peace and the goals of the NPT “by waging its illegal war of aggression against Ukraine.”

Under the provisions of the NPT, the original five nuclear powers — the United States, China, Russia (then the Soviet Union), Britain, and France — agreed to negotiate the elimination of their arsenals one day, and the countries without atomic weapons committed to not to acquire them in exchange for the guarantee that they could develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.

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