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2015年3月19日 (木)

プーチン発言 「核準備」の恫喝は認められぬ

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Putin’s allusion to being prepared to use nuclear arms is intolerable
プーチン発言 「核準備」の恫喝は認められぬ

It was a threat in which an allusion was made over the use of nuclear weapons. His remarks, made as a leader of a nuclear power, were extremely inappropriate and irresponsible.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said, “We were ready to do it,” when asked if Russia was prepared to put its nuclear forces on alert over the country’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula last March.

However, he defended himself by saying he believed the Crimea crisis would not evolve into a situation where Russia’s nuclear forces would actually be put into a state of combat readiness.

Nonetheless, his remarks contain extremely serious elements and must not be ignored.

Under the basic guidelines governing its use of nuclear weapons, Russia will use nuclear weapons only in response to an all-out attack by weapons of mass destruction or if the existence of the Russian Federation is threatened.

Around the time Russia annexed Crimea, it was not expected that the country would have to fight for its survival. Thus, Putin’s remarks made a mockery of these guidelines.

A senior official of the Russian Foreign Ministry said, “Russia, in principle, reserves the right to deploy its nuclear arsenal in Crimea.”

The series of remarks by Putin are construed as an attempt by Russia to make its control of Crimea a fait accompli by intimidating the United States and European countries to forestall any intervention.

Russia’s wisdom must be called into question. As a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, the country is responsible for maintaining world peace.

Running counter to NPT

A U.S. State Department spokeswoman criticized Putin’s remarks, saying the Russian president has admitted to the whole world that Russian troops not only intervened in Crimea but also were ready to take more aggressive action. Her criticism cannot be faulted.

The Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty calls on signatory countries, including Russia, not to threaten the territorial integrity of other nations with the use of force. It is obvious that Putin’s latest remarks run counter to the spirit of this international treaty.

What is of great concern is that Russia over the past few years has built up its nuclear capability. This also runs against the international trend of nuclear disarmament in the post-Cold War era, a trend symbolized by the signing of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty by the United States and Russia.

In his latest remarks, Putin said, “We never thought about severing Crimea from Ukraine until the moment that these events began [with the Ukraine] government overthrow.” With this comment, he admitted that Russia took actions to annex Crimea immediately after Ukraine’s pro-Moscow government led by President Viktor Yanukovych was overthrown in February last year.

His remarks contradicted his earlier assertion that Russia annexed Crimea because he respected the results of the referendum held last March.

It has been pointed out that Russian special forces intervened and conducted various maneuvers to have the referendum carried out in Crimea.

Putin, who has unilaterally been changing the status quo by force, is becoming a serious cause of uncertainty.

The international community, while financially supporting Ukraine and maintaining its pressure on Russia, must call on Putin to refrain from embarking on any more adventures through words or deeds.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, March 18, 2015)


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