Secretary of State Antony Blinken recently levied fierce criticism against the Russian regime, accusing it of “reckless, dangerous nuclear saber rattling” as it continues to pummel Ukraine in the invasion.
As reported by CNN, Blinken has argued that the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) is facing “increasing strain” at this present juncture in global affairs. The strain is not only attributed to Russia, but also to Iran and North Korea, who are starting to engage in saber rattling of their own.
Blinken has encouraged Moscow to fulfill its duties under the international commitments made for nuclear arms control.
The Secretary of State also took issue with Putin’s threat against any nation that provided assistance to Ukraine, namely when Putin declared that such nations would “risk consequences as you have never seen in your entire history.”
Multiple nations have urged Russia to cease its actions in Ukraine, with France, the United Kingdom, and the United States issuing a joint statement that urged Russia “to cease its irresponsible and dangerous nuclear rhetoric and behavior, to uphold its international commitments, and to recommit – in words and deeds – to the principles enshrined in the recent Preventing Nuclear War and Avoiding Arms Races Leaders’ statement.”
Blinken notes that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine constitutes a clear violation of the U.N. Charter, as well as the 1994 Budapest Memorandum. Within the memorandum, Moscow agreed to respect the sovereignty of Ukraine, and in response, Kyiv agreed to give up its nuclear weapons.
“What message does this send to any [nation] around the world that may think that it needs to have nuclear weapons to protect, to defend, to deter aggression against its sovereignty and independence?” Blinken said in disbelief, adding, “[that’s] the worst possible message.”
Alongside Russia, North Korea and Iran are eagerly and openly pursuing their own nuclear ambitions, with North Korea aiming for its seventh nuclear test while Tehran remains committed to “nuclear escalation.”