The decisions by Russia and the United States to extend New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) became a step towards reducing the risk of nuclear disaster, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in his video message to Hiroshima Peace Memorial.
"I am deeply concerned by the lack of progress towards the goal of a nuclear-free world. States in possession of nuclear weapons have been modernizing their arsenals in recent years, sparking a new arms race. But the decisions by the Russian Federation and the United States to extend the New START treaty, and engage in a dialogue on arms control, are welcome first steps towards reducing the risk of nuclear catastrophe," Guterres said.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the memorial events on occasion of the 76th anniversary of the US atomic bombings of Hiroshima have been scaled down. Some 800 people are taking part, including diplomats and officials from more than 80 countries and regions of the world. Russia is represented by Consul-General in Osaka Alexander Terskikh, TASS reports.
On August 6, 1945 US bomber B-29 Enola Gay dropped a four-tonne uranium bomb codenamed Little Boy on Hiroshima. The explosion instantly killed an estimated 70,000 to 100,000 people. The overall number of fatalities exceeded 140,000. Three days later, in the morning of August 9, 1945 another B-29 bomber dropped a plutonium bomb on Nagasaki, killing 70,000 and razing the city to the ground. Over years the radiation sickness claimed another 152,000 lives.