Days after the UK warned that the risk for nuclear war is higher today than even during the Cold War due to lack of communication between rival nuclear-armed superpowers, Russian President Vladimir Putin in Monday remarks said "there can be no winners" in nuclear war, stressing it "must never be unleashed" on the world.
Putin's words came just as Russian media sources reported the Biden administration has offered to open talks with Moscow over a "new arms control framework" that could replace the New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty).
The past half-decade has witnessed the deterioration and ultimately abandonment of some key Cold War era arms treaties, in addition to the collapse of monitoring agreements like 'Open Skies' - which the US recently pulled out of.
Discussing the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, or NPT, Putin said on Monday, "As a state party to the NPT and one of its depositories, Russia consistently follows the letter and spirit of the Treaty."
"Our obligations under bilateral agreements with the United States on the reduction and limitation of relevant weapons have also been fully fulfilled," he continued. "We proceed from the fact that there can be no winners in a nuclear war, and it must never be unleashed, and we stand for equal and indivisible security for all members of the global community."
On the same day, UN Secretary General António Guterres warned that humanity is "one miscalculation away from nuclear annihilation". Thus it appears the UN chief and Putin are on the same page... a rare moment. He said the following upon the start of a conference of countries belonging to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in New York:
"We have been extraordinarily lucky so far. But luck is not a strategy. Nor is it a shield from geopolitical tensions boiling over into nuclear conflict," Guterres said at the start of a conference of countries belonging to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
"Today, humanity is just one misunderstanding, one miscalculation away from nuclear annihilation," he said, calling on nations to "put humanity on a new path towards a world free of nuclear weapons".
Within the first two months of the Russian invasion, there were widespread reports and speculation that Putin ordered his armed forces to enter a heightened state of nuclear readiness. Later, top Russian officials vowed they will not use nukes in Ukraine.
Another hotspot, and potential new showdown between nuclear-armed superpowers, is now opening up in southeast Asia ahead of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's potential ultra-provocative visit to the self-ruled island of Taiwan. China is starting fresh military drills across from Taiwan, warning it is prepared to possibly deter any US military escort over the region. Independent journalist Michael Tracy summarized the current US posture in the world as follows:
At present the US is intimately involved in at least four "ticking time bomb" hotspots that could trigger wider conflict -- Taiwan, Ukraine, Serbia/Kosovo, Iran -- but the real problem of course is rampant "isolationism"— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) August 1, 2022
Indeed, stalled negotiations of an Iran nuclear deal are hanging by a thread, also with border tensions soaring between Serbia and Kosovo, which Serbia's president warning the military is ready to respond - also as Russia and NATO line up behind the rival enemy sides.