On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that there could be no victor in a nuclear war and that such a conflict should never be initiated.
Putin made the statement in a letter to participants of a conference on the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT) more than five months into his war on Ukraine.
"We proceed from the fact that there can be no winners in a nuclear war and it should never be unleashed, and we stand for equal and indivisible security for all members of the world community," he explained.
Since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, international anxiety about the possibility of a nuclear confrontation has grown. In a speech at the time, Putin made a solid reference to Russia's atomic arsenal and warned other nations against interfering.
"Whoever tries to impede us... should be aware that Russia will respond immediately. And it will result in effects you have never experienced before "he remarked.
Several days later, he ordered Russia's nuclear forces to be on high alert.
The war in Ukraine has heightened international tensions to heights not seen since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.
In March, Antonio Guterres, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, stated, "The prospect of nuclear conflict, once unthinkable, is now back within the realm of possibility."
Russia and the United States have made public statements regarding the possibility of World War III. William Burns, the director of the CIA, stated in April that, given Russia's defeats in Ukraine, "none of us can take lightly the threat posed by a potential resort to tactical nuclear weapons or low-yield nuclear weapons."
Russia, whose military doctrine permits the use of nuclear weapons in the event of an existential danger to the Russian state, has accused the West of conducting a proxy war against it by arming Ukraine and slapping sanctions on Moscow.
Earlier on Monday, a Russian foreign ministry source questioned the seriousness of US Vice President Joe Biden's comments asking for discussions on a framework for nuclear arms control to replace a treaty that expires in 2026.
In April, Russia performed the maiden test launch of its new intercontinental ballistic missile Sarmat, capable of launching nuclear strikes against the United States. It stated that it intended to deploy the weapons by the fall.
On Monday, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida urged all nuclear states to behave themselves "responsibly" in non-proliferation efforts, stating that the path to a world without nuclear weapons has become considerably more challenging.
Kishida, the leader of the only nation to have suffered nuclear assaults during warfare, cautioned that global tensions were widening, particularly since Russia invaded Ukraine, with Putin at the beginning of the conflict, insinuating the potential of a nuclear strike.
North Korea, which has conducted many missile tests this year, is believed to be planning a nuclear test as well.
In a speech, he remarked, "The world is worried that the threat of the catastrophe of use of nuclear weapons has emerged once again,"
The route toward a world without nuclear weapons has suddenly become more complex.
Kishida spoke at the Review Conference of the Parties to the treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) at the United Nations in New York City, becoming the first Japanese leader to do so.
Kishida, a resident of Hiroshima, which on August 6, 1945, became the first city in the world to be bombed with a nuclear weapon during the dying days of World War II, has made nuclear non-proliferation a cause.
Three days later, Nagasaki was subject to a second nuclear attack.
Kishida was a foreign minister when US President Barack Obama visited Hiroshima in 2016 as the first incumbent US president to do so. He has chosen Hiroshima as the location for the Group of Seven summit in 2019.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Monday that he would travel to Hiroshima for the August 6 commemoration.
Regarding non-proliferation efforts, "We call for all nuclear states to conduct themselves responsibly," stated Kishida.
From this perspective, we support arms control and nuclear reduction negotiations between the United States and Russia, and we urge similar discussions between the United States and China.
In addition, he announced the creation of a $10 million fund to educate youth leaders on the perils of nuclear weapons.
Kishida stated, "Nagasaki must become the last bombed city,"
As a result of the 2011 nuclear tragedy at Fukushima, he argued that nuclear energy should be used for peaceful purposes while ensuring its safety.
In response to a rise in fuel prices and a hot wave in June in which Japan narrowly avoided a power deficit, Kishima has advocated for nuclear power and stated that he has requested that nine reactors be operational by the end of the year, up from the existing five.
A return to the 2015 nuclear deal remains the best option for the United States, Iran, and the rest of the world, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Monday at global nonproliferation meetings at the United Nations.
Blinken reiterated an American warning that North Korea is poised to undertake its seventh nuclear test.
US Vice President Joe Biden previously stated that the United States was prepared to draft a new nuclear arms agreement with Russia and urged Moscow to demonstrate its ability to engage in good faith at the discussions that began on Monday.