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UN chief urges end to ‘era of nuclear blackmail’

September 27, 2022

UNITED NATIONS, United States: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres renewed his call on Monday for the global abolition of nuclear weapons as concerns grow over Russia’s threat to use them in the Ukraine war.

"Decades after the fall of the Berlin Wall, we can hear once again the rattling of nuclear sabers," Guterres told a special General Assembly session on nuclear disarmament. "Let me be clear -- the era of nuclear blackmail must end," he said.

"The idea that any country could fight and win a nuclear war is deranged. Any use of a nuclear weapon would incite a humanitarian Armageddon," he said. "Without eliminating nuclear weapons, there can be no peace."

Russian President Vladimir Putin in a speech last week made a thinly veiled threat to use nuclear weapons following Ukrainian forces’ recapture of land seized Moscow in its seven-month invasion.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken replied that Washington has told Moscow, including through private channels, of "catastrophic" consequences over any use of nuclear weapons.