Nuclear-armed states build up their arsenals amid deteriorating geopolitical situation
Experts at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute have concluded that states with nuclear weapons arsenals are increasing the number of deployed warheads
This is stated in the annual report of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.
According to experts, the number of available nuclear weapons began to grow as the countries' long-term plans to modernize and expand their forces progressed. Russia's war against Ukraine has intensified the confrontation between the great powers.
The United States, Russia, China, North Korea and India, the United Kingdom, Israel and France are increasing the number of deployed nuclear warheads, and some of them have deployed new weapons systems capable of carrying nuclear warheads.
The researchers note that in January 2023, out of 12,512 warheads, about 9,576 were in storage for potential use. This is 86 more than in January 2022.
The United States and Russia have almost 90% of all nuclear weapons in the world. Their total of 2,000 warheads are on high alert. At the same time, China has increased its nuclear arsenal from 350 warheads to 410. SIPRI believes that the number of Chinese ballistic missiles could equal Russia's or the United States' by the end of the decade.
In 2022, France continued its programs to develop a third-generation nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine and a new air-launched cruise missile. India and Pakistan are expanding their nuclear arsenals and continuing to develop new delivery systems.
In 2022, the DPRK did not conduct nuclear tests, but carried out more than 90 missile launches. Some of the missiles launched could carry nuclear warheads. Israel, which does not publicly recognize its possession of nuclear weapons, is also modernizing its nuclear arsenal.
On January 21, Vladimir Putin announced that Russia was suspending its participation in New START. Putin said that he suspended Russia's participation in the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty because the West has set out to defeat Russia.
On February 22, the Russian State Duma supported Putin's decision to suspend Russia's participation in New START.
On May 25, Belarusian Defense Minister Viktor Khrenin and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu signed a document on the deployment of Russian tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus. Thereafter, self-proclaimed President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko announces the start of the transfer of nuclear weapons to the country.