Japan blames Russia for failure to reach consensus at nuclear treaty conference

·2-min read

Japan’s prime minister said Russia is to blame for the nuclear nonprofileration conference ending without a joint declaration.

The objective of the Nuclear Non-Profileration Treaty (NPT) is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and technology and to encourage peaceful and constructive uses of nuclear energy.

It is signed by 191 states since it opened for signature in 1968.

Japan’s prime minister said Russia is to blame for the nuclear nonprofileration conference ending without a joint declaration (AP)
Japan’s prime minister said Russia is to blame for the nuclear nonprofileration conference ending without a joint declaration (AP)

Fumio Kishida said on Saturday that he was disappointed that the NPT concluded with no consensus.

He said: “It is extremely regrettable that no consensus was reached due to opposition by one country: Russia.”

It comes after Russia opposed a final draft of the consensus at the end of a month-long NPT review conference in New York.

The Kremlin-controlled Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant was a major point of friction in their opposing argument.

Fears were stoked on Thursday after the plant was temporarily cut off from the Ukrainian electricity grid, however the connection was soon restored.

Mr Kishida said that strengthening the NPT is “only realistic approach” to nuclear disarmament.

The Japanese prime minister is the first leader from his country to attend the NPT review, as he pushes for a world without nuclear powers.

The leader said he would be working more closely with African nations towards his goals of removing nuclear weapons.

Meanwhile, fresh radiation leak concerns emerged in Europe after Russian rocket and artillery strikes hit areas across the Dnieper River from Zaporizhzhia, Ukrainian officials said on Sunday.

A Russian serviceman guards an area of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Station in territory under Russian military control (Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
A Russian serviceman guards an area of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Station in territory under Russian military control (Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Russian forces took control of the Europe’s largest nuclear plant soon after the war began and hold adjacent territory along the left bank of the wide river.

The Ukrainian and Russian governments have repeatedly accused each other of shelling the complex and nearby areas, raising fears of a possible catastrophe.

Periodic shelling has damaged the power station’s infrastructure, Ukraine’s nuclear power operator, Energoatom, said on Saturday.

“There are risks of hydrogen leakage and sputtering of radioactive substances, and the fire hazard is high,” it said.

The UN’s atomic energy agency has tried to work out an agreement to send a team in to inspect and help secure the plant.