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The United States said on Tuesday that it sees "no alternative" to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

"I’m optimistic about the prospects for the treaty itself, in part because we have no alternative to it. There is no other treaty we can point to," U.S. special envoy for nonproliferation, Adam Scheinman, said ahead of next week's conference on the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

Scheinman was talking to reporters during a virtual briefing organized by the State Department's Brussels Media Hub.

Next week's conference, he said, will focus on deterrence and the long-term goal of eliminating atomic weapons: “The treaty provides the framework and some momentum for the nuclear-weapons states to work on stabilizing their nuclear deterrence, relationships, and limiting or reducing nuclear stockpiles.”

Asked by TURAN how much damage have Putin’s threats done to the nuclear nonproliferation regime, Scheinman said, Russia’s actions impact "each of the treaty’s core tenets."

"Russia’s provocative nuclear rhetoric I believe is out of step with the treaty’s aims toward nuclear arms control and eventual nuclear disarmament, certainly out of step with the statement that the leaders of the P5 countries had signed on January 3rd, just weeks before the Russian invasion that made clear that nuclear war cannot be won and should be never – and should never be fought," he said.

"The fact that Russia acted inconsistently, shall we say, with the Budapest Memorandum that allowed Ukraine to come into the NPT as a non-nuclear weapons state clearly was undermined, and I think Russia’s actions around Ukraine’s peaceful nuclear facilities would seem to put at risk Ukraine’s right under the NPT to pursue peaceful nuclear energy" he added.

Washington "expects and hopes" that states parties are very clear in their national statements to the conference that damage has been done, and "our job at the Review Conference of course will be to move from that and try to articulate ways to preserve and to strengthen this treaty," Scheinman said.

Alex Raufoglu

Washington D.C.

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