A view onto the yard of a maternity hospital damaged in a shelling attack in Mariupol, Ukraine, Wednesday, March 9, 2022. Associated Press journalists, who have been reporting from inside blockaded Mariupol since early in the war, documented this attack on the hospital and saw the victims and damage firsthand. They shot video and photos of several bloodstained, pregnant mothers fleeing the blown-out maternity ward, medics shouting, children crying. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

Letter: War in Ukraine is a tragedy years in the making

Lachlan Labere is right to remind us that we live under the constant threat of nuclear weapons. (Putin’s play at brinkmanship…, Observer, March 9, 2022).

There are approximately 13,000 nuclear weapons in the world, with 1,500 on high alert, ready to be launched within minutes of a warning of incoming attack.

There have been over 1,000 instances when false warnings and accidents have almost resulted in a nuclear weapons catastrophe.

The Doomsday Clock is set at 100 seconds to midnight, showing how great is the current risk of a nuclear weapons catastrophe.

Canada is a member of NATO, which states nuclear weapons are the “supreme guarantee” of security. Accordingly, all 30 NATO nations and the nine nuclear armed nations refuse to sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which has been signed by 86 countries, ratified by 59, and went into effect in January, 2021.

The current war in Ukraine is a tragedy years in the making, and Ukrainians are paying a heavy price. When hostilities end, NATO leaders should:

a) Take a close look at the adversarial and heavily militarized security arrangements that have dominated East-West relations since the end of the Cold War;

b) End the stationing of U.S. nuclear weapons in five European countries, in violation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT);

c) Push forward with negotiations on eliminating nuclear weapons, which all nations are legally obligated to do under the NPT;

d) Engage Russia in negotiations to replace the current failed East-West security arrangements with a common security framework that respects the legitimate security concerns of all nations and provides stability and security to all.

In the meantime, Canada should engage in diplomacy to help bring an end to the war in Ukraine, and prepare to contribute generously toward the cost of rebuilding Ukraine’s shattered buildings and infrastructure.

Read more: Viewpoint: Putin’s play at brinksmanship disarmed by Russian resistance

Anne Morris

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