Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s message to the participants of the memorial ceremony in Hiroshima on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the atomic bombing
Dear Mr. Mayor and the people of Hiroshima,
Dear organizers, attenders and guests of the memorial ceremony,
This year is marked by the 75th anniversary of the end of the most large-scale and the bloodiest war in the history of mankind. Therefore, we address not only its results, which enabled peoples’ transition to the principles of a peaceful life and formed the basis of the modern system of international relations, but also remember the human cost in order to prevent a recurrence of the tragedies of that time.
On August 6, 1945, the United States launched a nuclear attack against Hiroshima and three days later against Nagasaki. To this day, the terrible death of innocent civilians strikes a chord with millions of people on our planet. Even with a clear idea of the reasons behind and course of World War II, it is hard to fully understand what the masterminds and perpetrators of such an inhumane act were guided by.
Soviet representatives were among the first foreign observers to visit the site of the tragedy and collect detailed materials that were submitted to the leadership of the country. This and other information on the results of the study into the consequences of nuclear explosions in Japan was subsequently made public and presented to the wider international community. We would expect others to follow suit, showing respect to historical truth and ensuring transparency with regard to those events.
An impartial analysis of what happened in August 1945 confirms that the world’s leading capitals could not but realize that World War II was really coming to an end. The Soviet offensive in the Far East, as part of the agreements between the Allies, not only liberated China and Korea, but also took away Japan’s motivation to continue military operations. In that situation, atomic bombings by the United States were in fact a show of force and an operational test of nuclear weapons on civilians. The United States was the first and only country to use this type of weapons of mass destruction.
As a nuclear-weapon State, Russia recognizes its responsibility for international security, and global and regional stability. We are aware of the impact that the use of nuclear weapons may have. Our country pursues a policy of peace and non-confrontation in international affairs.
Today, we note with great concern the degradation of the international arms control system, denunciation of treaties, disregard of the principles of undiminished security of States, and a significant increase in nuclear risks. There has been an alarming shift in doctrinal military and political policies towards the idea that it is acceptable to employ nuclear weapons as a means of warfare.
We need to eliminate the risk of military confrontation between the nuclear powers and rule out the possibility of a nuclear war. We firmly believe that such a war cannot be won and must never be unleashed. We suggest that all nuclear powers officially confirm their commitment to this tenet.
In a bid to free the world from the threat posed by weapons of mass destruction, we reaffirm our commitments under the Non-Proliferation Treaty and, in this connection, call for extension of the START Treaty. In the face of the dismantlement of the INF Treaty by the United States, Russia unilaterally undertook not to deploy ground-launched intermediate-range and shorter-range missiles in any given region of the world until relevant US-made weapons are deployed there.
Russia has unwaveringly supported constructive dialogue with all political forces and social movements advocating the nuclear threat reduction. In this context, it is crucially important to hold a substantive discussion on the issues that have to be dealt with in order to create favorable conditions for further movement towards nuclear disarmament. These issues include the deployment of a global missile defense system by the United States, development of high-precision non-nuclear strategic offensive arms, weaponization of outer space and cyberspace, and the United States' refusal to ratify the CTBT.
We must join our efforts to ensure that the terror and pain of Hiroshima and Nagasaki will never repeat. The tragedy left a deep imprint on the hearts of the Russian people, finding its way into our literature, art and music. Every Russian schoolchild knows the story of a girl named Sadako, who, hoping to be cured from radiation sickness, was trying to make a thousand paper cranes.
That is why, on August 6, our thoughts will be with the people of your city.
MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION