Nuclear arms race reappears on Hiroshima anniversary

Comments from Russian president Vladimir Putin show the spectre of nuclear war is rising again, Scottish Green MSP Ross Greer has said.

American President Donald Trump withdrew from a major cold-war weapons treaty with Russia on Friday, prompting the Russian leader to say he would have “no option” but to match America’s weapons systems.

The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Force (INF) treaty, signed in 1987, banned land-based missiles with a range between 310 and 3,400 miles and was designed to reduce the chances of a strike being launched at short notice.

Today marks the 74th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima, when the USA used weapons of mass destruction against Japanese civilians, killing around 140,000 people.

Scottish Greens external affairs spokesman Ross Greer said: “Donald Trump’s casual withdrawal from a successful, decades-long arms treaty shows how damaging his presidency is for world peace, and Vladimir Putin’s response shows how quickly we could descend into another nuclear arms race.

“Today marks 74 years since the US dropped an atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. To prevent an atrocity like this from ever happening again we need to reduce existing nuclear stockpiles, not begin another rush to build more.

“But rather than distance themselves from the Trump administration, the UK Government continues to cosy up to it in the hope of winning a trade deal, one which will weaken everything from food standards to environmental protections, and all so they can make up a fraction of the damage Brexit will do to our economy.

“Instead of renewing a nuclear arsenal capable of ending the world dozens of times over, the UK Government should end its superpower delusion and start spending the £200 billion allocated to Trident’s replacement on the one in four children in this country living in poverty as a result of Westminster’s cruel policies.”

There are events around the world to mark Hiroshima day, which commemorates the day the United States detonated a nuclear weapons over the Japanese city of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945