Vienna, 19 June 2013 – “I explicitly welcome the nuclear disarmament steps announced in Berlin”, Austrian Vice-Chancellor and Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger said commenting on today’s speech of US President Obama with its clear commitment to a nuclear-free world at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. “The further reduction of strategic nuclear weapons by up to one third and the announcement of the wish to withdraw tactical nuclear weapons from Europe would be important steps on the way towards a world that can get by without these weapons. I very much hope that Russia will pick up on these measures from the United States as soon as possible and also implement them”, Spindelegger said.
In his eagerly awaited speech Obama also spoke about the ratification of the Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) and the start of negotiations on the prohibition of the production of nuclear material for atomic weapons. In addition Obama also announced a summit meeting on nuclear security for 2016.
“Against the historic backcloth of the Brandenburg Gate, it is important to remember the lessons of the Cold War. More than twenty years after it ended, nuclear weapons still represent a global danger. A paradigm shift is finally needed for international disarmament efforts. I welcome the clear words of the U.S. President that nuclear weapons are not suitable for the fight against current and future threats. It is to be hoped that this will lead to a true renunciation of nuclear weapons and the logic of the nuclear deterrent”, the Vice-Chancellor added.
“Every use of atomic weapons, whether intended or accidental, would have catastrophic effects worldwide. Austria has thus always taken the position that the only solution must be the complete abolition of atomic weapons. Nuclear disarmament and the promotion of every possible measure to make this objective come true must be in the focus of our collective efforts”, Spindelegger concluded.
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