The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament today expressed grave concern at “the latest phase in the new nuclear arms race”. Russia today announced plans to upgrade its nuclear systems including new nuclear submarines and a system of aerospace defence. Mr Medvedev, the Russian President, said that the new systems were necessary in response to US plans to site missile defence facilities in Poland and the Czech Republic. The US has pressed ahead rapidly with these bases over the past few weeks in spite of majority popular opposition in those countries and clearly expressed Russian concern.
Today’s alarming announcements are part of a spiralling build-up of new nuclear weaponry which includes the British Government’s decision to replace the Trident nuclear weapons system in March of last year. The French Government recently announced a new missile programme and the US administration seeks to pursue similar developments although it is currently held back by Congressional opposition.
Kate Hudson, Chair of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, said, “CND has warned for some years that the US Missile Defence system would provoke a new nuclear arms race. Sadly, this is now shown to be true. Missile Defence is seen by Russia and others as undermining the strategic balance between the nuclear-armed powers, thus restarting the cat and mouse game between rival nuclear forces. Coming shortly after the recent conflict in Georgia, this will only further increase tensions between Russia and the West.
She continued, “No one wants a return to the Cold War and the threat of nuclear annihilation. Existing stockpiles are sufficient to destroy the world many times over. Russia has a role to play, as a major economic power and significant energy producer, in helping to resolve the world’s great problems. Working together to address climate change would be a better use of all nations’ time and resources rather than pouring them down the drain of nuclear weapons production.”
Notes to Editors:For further information and interviews please contact Ben Soffa, CND’s Press Officer, on 0207 7002350 or 07968 420859
The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) is one of Europe’s biggest single-issue peace campaigns, with over 35,000 members in the UK. CND campaigns for the abolition of all nuclear weapons everywhere.