Ukraine Takes Russia's Nuclear Arms Plan to UN

Foreign ministry wants emergency session of Security Council
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 26, 2023 4:25 PM CDT
Ukraine Wants UN to Act on Russia's 'Nuclear Blackmail'
An Ukrainian fan holds up a plea for fighter jets before an England-Ukraine soccer match Sunday at Wembley Stadium in London. England won 2-0.   (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

Ukraine's government on Sunday called for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council over Russian President Vladimir Putin's plans to station tactical atomic weapons in Belarus. Ukraine's Foreign Ministry condemned the move in urging the UN to step in. "Ukraine expects effective action to counter the Kremlin's nuclear blackmail by the UK, China, the US and France," the statement read, saying those countries "have a special responsibility" regarding nuclear aggression. "The world must be united against someone who endangers the future of human civilization," the statement said, per the AP.

Further heightening tensions, an explosion deep inside Russia wounded three people Sunday. Russian authorities blamed a Ukrainian drone for the blast, which damaged residential buildings in a town 110 miles south of Moscow. Ukraine has not commented on the explosion, which media reports said left a crater about 50 feet in diameter and 16 feet. Russian state-run news agency Tass reported authorities identified the drone as a Ukrainian Tu-141. The Soviet-era drone was reintroduced in Ukraine in 2014 and has a range of about 620 miles. The explosion took place in the town of Kireyevsk in the Tula region, about 180 from the border with Ukraine. Similar drone attacks have been common during the war, though Ukraine hardly ever acknowledges responsibility.

Russia has said the plan to station tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus is in response to the West's increasing military support for Ukraine. Putin announced the plan in a television interview that aired on Saturday. The US said it will "monitor the implications" of Putin’s announcement. So far, there haven't been "any indications Russia is preparing to use a nuclear weapon," National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson said, per the AP. In Germany, the foreign ministry called Russia's plan a "further attempt at nuclear intimidation," German news agency dpa reported late Saturday. The ministry said "the comparison drawn by President Putin to NATO’s nuclear participation is misleading and cannot be used to justify the step announced by Russia."

(More Russia-Ukraine war stories.)

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