First Thing, Daily Maverick's flagship newsletter

Join the 230 000 South Africans who read First Thing newsletter.

Russia says 'real danger' of Ukraine acquiring nuclear...



Russia says ‘real danger’ of Ukraine acquiring nuclear weapons required response

By john
01 Mar 2022 3

GENEVA, March 1 (Reuters) - Russia's foreign minister told a Geneva disarmament meeting on Tuesday that Ukraine has been seeking to acquire nuclear weapons, a "real danger" that needed a Russian response.

  • Ukraine accuses Russia of “war crimes” at U.N. session
  • Kyiv seeks meeting on Russian aggression, WMD
  • Diplomats boycott Lavrov speeches at U.N. forums

By Emma Farge

Russia invaded Ukraine on Thursday in what it called a special operation to demilitarise and “denazify” the country – a justification dismissed by Kyiv and the West as propaganda. Read full story

“Today the dangers that (Ukrainian President Volodymyr) Zelenskiy’s regime pose for neighbouring countries and international security in general have increased substantially after the authorities set up in Kyiv have embarked upon dangerous games related to plans to acquire their own nuclear weapons,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told the Conference on Disarmament in a video address.

“Ukraine still has Soviet nuclear technologies and the means of delivery of such weapons. We cannot fail to respond to this real danger,” he said, also calling for Washington to rebase its nuclear weapons from Europe.

He delivered the speech to a thin crowd after many diplomats including France and Britain staged a walk-out to protest Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as they did at a parallel U.N. meeting in Geneva on Tuesday. Read full story

They stood in a circle outside the meeting for the duration of Lavrov’s speech, holding a Ukrainian flag. Lavrov was supposed to attend the session in person but the visit was cancelled, with Russia accusing unidentified EU states of blocking his flight path. Read full story

Earlier, a minute of silence was held for the victims of fighting in Ukraine.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has enlivened the deadlocked arms negotiating forum that has failed to reach a deal in decades despite holding over 1,600 plenary meetings.

At the same meeting, Ukraine’s foreign minister accused Russia of war crimes through its shelling of his country and the ambassador called for a special meeting to address Russian aggression and weapons of mass destruction. Read full story

A copy of the request seen by Reuters said the meeting would address the “the use of conventional weapons against the civilian population as well as nuclear and other WMD threats” and called for concrete and specific actions.

It said the request was supported by “numerous other” members of the 65-member body, without naming them. Russia’s delegate objected to the meeting.


Comments - share your knowledge and experience

Please note you must be a Maverick Insider to comment. Sign up here or sign in if you are already an Insider.

Everybody has an opinion but not everyone has the knowledge and the experience to contribute meaningfully to a discussion. That’s what we want from our members. Help us learn with your expertise and insights on articles that we publish. We encourage different, respectful viewpoints to further our understanding of the world. View our comments policy here.

All Comments 3

  • So who made Russia and Putin the saviour of the world? Hitler wanted to create the perfect human species Germany and look where he ended up and what trouble he caused!

  • Listening in jaw-dropping horror at the drivel and blatant lies the Russian government is spouting about Ukraine. Reminds me of the arrogance of some of the politicians of our ruling party.

    • Indeed. They are creepy slimey creatures that live under the same rock. That is why our ANC government does not have the spine to vote against Russia in the UN but hides behind neutrality in the face of Russians slaughtering women, children and non-combatents.

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted