For immediate release: 22 December 2003

The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament reacted with anger today at news that Russia has deployed six more Topol-M nuclear missiles, identifying it as further evidence that international disarmament and non-proliferation efforts are collapsing. Having warned with increasing volume over the past few years that the US missile defence system and development of new nuclear weapons would provoke proliferation in other nuclear states, CND said today that it was sad to have been proved right.

CND Chair, Kate Hudson, said,

“We reject any argument Russia uses to justify the further deployment of nuclear weapons – there is no excuse for their existence, deployment or use. However, we have warned time and time again that the US star wars system was deeply unpopular, untrusted and a threat to non-proliferation efforts. Likewise with US plans for new nuclear weapons – they can only provoke proliferation – and today’s news should be seen in the light of this situation.”

The news follows a report in August by the US Department for defense (“Military Power of the People’s Republic of China”) that stated that China is planning to significantly increase its nuclear arsenal to maintain the “credibility” of its nuclear force in the face of missile defence. CND sees this, along with today’s news and the increasingly volatile situation in North Korea and the Middle East, as a sign of an increasing breakdown of trust and lack of faith in international law.

Kate Hudson continued,

“Any hope that the disarmament efforts of Libya this week would provoke the stubborn nuclear states in to fulfilling their legal and moral duties are crushed by this announcement. The US must stop antagonising and destabilising with its aggressive policies and new breeds of weaponry and Russia must not react by deploying more of the world’s most dangerous weapon. The threat of a new arms race is becoming frighteningly real and it’s time the nuclear states woke up to this, stuck to their word and disarmed.”

CND opposes all nuclear weapons and campaigns for their global abolition. CND is one of the UK’s leading campaign groups confronting the threat posed by star wars and is one of Europe’s biggest single-issue peace campaigns, with 32,000 members.


Contact CND Chair Kate Hudson on 07739 184335 and CND Star Wars Campaigner on 07818 411823