NATO's Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg called on Monday allies and partners to modernize the arms control regime of the alliance.
Speaking at NATO’s annual arms control conference in Copenhagen, Stoltenberg warned that the world was “rapidly becoming more unpredictable, more competitive and more dangerous” as certain nuclear powers were “blatantly ignoring or breaking the global rules and spreading dangerous technology.”
“Russia continues to ignore and bend the rules” by modernizing its arsenal with new air-launched ballistic missiles or nuclear-powered cruise missiles, he explained.
He stressed that China was also expanding its military capacities, building a large number of missile silos “without any limitation or constraint and with a complete lack of transparency,” and voiced criticism on North Korea and Iran as well.
He called allies to preserve and strengthen the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) at the upcoming review conference, as well as to modernize the entire arms-control regime.
According to Stoltenberg, a modern arms-control regime should involve more countries, especially the global power China, while it addresses non-strategic weapons and new types of “emerging and disruptive technologies such as autonomous platforms and artificial intelligence.”
Citing Russia’s breaches of arms control agreements, the secretary-general also noted the significance of a unified and strong response if arms-control treaties are violated.
Being in force since 1970, the NPT is a key international treaty aiming to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology and to promote cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. In total, 191 countries have so far joined the treaty.