By Betul Yuruk
UNITED NATIONS (AA) - UN chief urged nations on Monday to put an end to the era of nuclear blackmail as the world's global body marks International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres's call came after the war in Ukraine has raised concerns of a nuclear conflict, with Russian President Vladimir Putin saying that he could use all weapons available if Russia’s territorial integrity is under threat.
"The idea that any country could fight and win a nuclear war is deranged. Any use of a nuclear weapon would incite a humanitarian Armageddon. We need to step back," said Guterres.
The parties to the treaty of nuclear disarmament failed to reach an agreement after a month-long meeting in August when Russia refused to accept the final draft amid disagreements over its invasion of Ukraine. The US and Russia are the world's largest nuclear powers.
"I urge all States to use every avenue of dialogue, diplomacy and negotiation to ease tensions, reduce risk and eliminate the nuclear threat," said the UN chief.
On Sunday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that the US also warned Russia of the "catastrophic" consequences of using nuclear weapons.
"We have been very clear with the Russians publicly, and, as well as privately, to stop the loose talk about nuclear weapons," said Blinken.