Russia blocks final document at UN nuclear treaty conference
United Nations, Aug 26 (EFE).- Russia blocked an agreement at the tenth nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) review conference on Friday mainly due to criticism over its invasion of Ukraine and takeover of the largest European nuclear plant in the war-torn country.
The four-week review came to a close without approving a final document after almost a month of discussions and extending the last day for several hours in pursuit of a consensus.
The document needed approval by all 191 member countries that are party to the 50-year-old Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty to curb the spread of nuclear weapons.
The Russian delegation was the only one that took the floor in the final session of the review to oppose the draft of the document presented by conference president Ambassador Gustavo Zlauvinen.
The rest of the 191 signatory countries of the NPT were willing to accept.
Russia said it had problems only with five paragraphs that it considered “politicized.”
Diplomatic sources said the differences stemmed from the document mentioning the situation at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in southeastern Ukraine and the need for its control to return to the competent authorities.
Russian troops took over the largest atomic plant in Europe at the beginning of the war, which started on Feb.24.
It has recently come under repeated attacks blamed by Russia and Ukraine on each that have set off a possible disaster alarm.
The final declaration reviewed the application of the NPT and set priorities for the future amid warnings by the United Nations that the risk of a nuclear conflict was the highest in decades.
“We find ourselves at a time in history where our world is increasingly plagued by conflict and, most alarmingly, the growing prospect of the unthinkable: nuclear war,” the president of the conference pointed out minutes before Russia blocked the text.
“It is imperative that we seek to amplify what unites, not what divides us.”
The NPT review conference is to be held every five years but was delayed because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Although the Ukraine war made it a particularly complicated meeting, it is not the first time that the periodic review of the NPT has closed without consensus.
The last review, held seven years ago, had met a similar fate without an agreement because of differences over establishing a Middle East zone free of weapons of mass destruction. EFE