NYCFPA statement on the avoidance of nuclear war and arms races

Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov addressed the Conference on Disarmament with a pre-recorded video message in Geneva, Switzerland, March 1, 2022.

According to the RIA news agency, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stated on Wednesday that if a third World War occurred, it would entail nuclear weapons and be devastating. 

Lavrov has stated that if Ukraine acquires nuclear weapons, Russia, which started a “special military operation” against it last week, will face a “serious risk.”

Vladimir Putin has ordered Russia’s nuclear deterrence forces to be placed on high alert, the latest indication from the Russian leader that he is willing to go to the most extreme degree of brinkmanship in order to gain victory in Ukraine. 

The US accused Putin of “absolutely unacceptable” escalation and stated that it will maintain its support for Ukraine as well as harsh actions against Russia. With the EU also proposing extraordinary new sanctions on Moscow, it was evident that Putin’s attack on Ukraine had not yielded the rapid successes he had hoped for, but had instead sparked a coordinated western response that may be disastrous for Russia’s economy.

The Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, declared that a team from Kyiv would meet Russian officials without preconditions near his country’s border with Belarus, although it was unclear whether Putin was willing to enter negotiations that did not require Ukraine accepting division and disarming. 

In the lack of an immediate military breakthrough, Putin signaled his willingness to expand his offensive against Ukraine, while taking the extraordinary step of overtly flaunting Russia’s nuclear weapons in a bid to prevent Western assistance for Ukraine. 

We reaffirm that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be undertaken. Nuclear use would have far-reaching implications, we also believe that nuclear weapons should serve defensive reasons, discourage aggression, and avoid war for as long as they exist. We are adamant that such weapons be not allowed to spread farther.

We argue all governments to establish a more secure climate favorable to progress on disarmament, with the ultimate objective of achieving a world free of nuclear weapons and providing unrivaled security for everyone. We encourage governments to pursue bilateral and multilateral diplomatic measures in order to avoid military conflicts, promote stability, build mutual understanding and confidence, and avoid an arms race that would benefit no one. We argue governments to engage in a productive dialog while respecting and acknowledging each other’s security interests and concerns.

About The New York Center For Foreign Policy Affairs

The New York Center for Foreign Policy Affairs (NYCFPA) is a policy, research, and educational

organization headquartered in New York State with an office in Washington D.C. NYCFPA is an

independent, non-profit, non-partisan, institution devoted to conducting in-depth research and analysis on

every aspect of American foreign policy and its impact around the world.

Media Contact:

Justin Russell

Principal Director



Lauren Maltese

Associate Director of External Affairs

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