WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 27: Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks to reporters during a press briefing at the U.S. Department of State on July 27, 2022 in Washington, DC. Secretary Blinken discussed plans to meet with Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov for the first time since the invasion of Ukraine, and negotiations to bring imprisoned Americans Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan home from Russia. Anna Rose Layden/Getty Images/AFP == FOR NEWSPAPERS, INTERNET, TELCOS & TELEVISION USE ONLY ==

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has accused Russia of using its nuclear weapons to make ruthless threats of war. Earlier statements by Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin that military aid could have unprecedented consequences for Ukraine are “dangerous nuclear saber-rattling,” said Blinken on Monday at the start of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) review conference in New York. The statements are contrary to international agreements. “There is no place in our world for nuclear deterrence based on force and intimidation or blackmail. We must stand together to reject this.”

Blinken said the United States would only consider using nuclear weapons in extreme circumstances to defend the vital interests of the United States, its allies and partners. (dpa)

Despite the war in Ukraine, Russia has confirmed that it does not want to start a nuclear war.

We assume that there can be no winners in a nuclear war and that it must never be started.

In doing so, he countered growing fears since the beginning of the war that Moscow might use nuclear weapons in Ukraine.

The fears were based, among other things, on the fact that Putin had put the Russian nuclear forces on increased alert shortly after the attack on the neighboring country. Previously, Russia’s leadership had always ruled out a nuclear first strike and presented operational plans only for a so-called counter-strike, i.e. the military response to an attack.

Putin has now stressed that Russia is fulfilling and will continue to fulfill its obligations as a founding member of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. At the same time, the head of the Kremlin called for “equal and indivisible security for all members of the world community.” In addition, all countries that fulfilled the provisions of the NPT should have access to the civilian use of nuclear power. Putin’s demand may have been aimed at Iran’s civilian nuclear program, which is supported by Russia. (dpa)

Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) has sharply condemned Russia’s nuclear threats. Russia is endangering everything that the Non-Proliferation Treaty has achieved in more than 50 years, Baerbock said in New York on Monday.

At the start of a review conference on the Non-Proliferation Treaty, the German Foreign Minister stressed that Ukraine had committed to giving up its nuclear weapons. The efforts for nuclear disarmament and the NPT itself face an uncertain future. Nevertheless, states must continue to pursue the goal of achieving a world free of nuclear weapons. “If we fly down the flag of nuclear disarmament today,” the NPT and everything it stands for would be dead, Baerbock stressed. (epd)

According to the governor there, the Ukrainian armed forces have recaptured more than 40 towns in the Kherson region in recent weeks. So far, 46 towns in the region have been “liberated,” Ukrainian governor Dmytro Butriy said on state television on Monday. According to him, most of the recaptured places are in the north of the region, others are south near the Black Sea.

Governor Butriy now said that some of the villages that have since been recaptured were “90 percent destroyed and are still under constant fire today”. He described the humanitarian situation in the region as “critical”.

In its counter-offensive, the Ukrainian army attacked Russian positions and camps behind the front line and damaged bridges on supply routes for the invading forces. Military experts blame the modern rocket launcher systems supplied from the West for the fact that the Ukrainian army is now able to conduct attacks much deeper into the areas occupied by Russia. (AFP)

In view of numerous crises worldwide, UN Secretary-General António Guterres has warned of the increasing risk of nuclear annihilation.

The world is in a period of nuclear danger not seen since the height of the Cold War. Humanity is in danger of forgetting the lessons forged in the terrible fires of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Geopolitical tensions have reached a new high. Eliminating nuclear weapons is the only guarantee that they will never be used. At the same time, Guterres emphasized that the peaceful use of nuclear technologies – including for medical purposes – must be promoted. (dpa)

According to the insurance interest group Lloyd’s Market Association (LMA), numerous points are still unclear regarding grain deliveries by ship from the Ukraine. These would have to be resolved so that empty ships could dock for new cargo, LMA manager Neil Roberts told Reuters. It’s about standardized processes for the ships and questions about the crew. “We still have quite a way to go.” (Reuters)

The Russian Foreign Ministry has imposed sanctions on another 39 British politicians, businessmen and journalists. The most prominent name on the blacklist published Monday on the agency’s official website is ex-Prime Minister David Cameron. Russia had previously sanctioned large sections of the UK’s political elite.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Moscow justified the expansion of the sanctions with the fact that those affected “support London’s hostile course, which aims to demonize our country and its international isolation”. All persons appearing on the list are now banned from entering Russia.

All in all, Moscow’s black list for the UK has been extended to 255 names. In addition, the Russian leadership also declared the non-profit British organization Calvert 22 Foundation, which specializes primarily in cultural exchange with Eastern Europe, to be an undesirable organization in Russia, which effectively amounts to a ban. (dpa)

A Russian government official has expressed surprise at US President Joe Biden’s proposal to negotiate a new arms control agreement for nuclear weapons. “Is that a serious statement, or has the White House website been hacked?” said the State Department official, who asked not to be named. “If this is serious, who do you want to discuss it with?”

Biden said on Monday that his government was ready to accelerate negotiations on a new framework agreement. The New Start arms agreement expires in 2026. Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a letter to participants at a conference on the Non-Proliferation Treaty that there can be no winners in a nuclear war. Such a war should never be started. (Reuters)

Since Russia has already partially or completely cut off gas supplies to twelve member countries (of the EU), we all need to prepare for the worst possible situation.