Nuclear Powers Spent $91.4bn on Their Arsenals Last Year, Most of All the US

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The world’s nine nuclear powers continue to modernize their nuclear weapons - spending a total of $91.4 billion on their arsenals in 2023. This was stated by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), headquartered in Geneva, writes European Pravda with reference to the AP agency. The figures show an increase in global spending on nuclear weapons of $10.7bn in 2023 compared to 2022, with the United States accounting for 80% of this increase. The U.S. share of total spending, $51.5 billion, is more than all the other nuclear-armed countries put together. “There has been a notable upward trend in the amount of money devoted to developing these most inhumane and destructive of weapons over the past five years,” said Alicia Sanders-Zakre, Policy and Research Coordinator with ICAN. The next biggest spender was China at $11.8 billion, she said, with Russia spending the third largest amount at $8.3 billion. Stockholm International Peace Research Institute SIPRI estimated that some 2,100 of the deployed warheads were kept in a state of high operational alert on ballistic missiles, and nearly all belong to Russia or the USA. However, it said that China is also believed to have some warheads on high operational alert for the first time. According to SIPRI, Russia and the United States have together almost 90% of all nuclear weapons. The sizes of their military stockpiles seem to have remained relatively stable in 2023, although Russia is estimated to have deployed around 36 more warheads with operational forces than in January 2023, the SIPRI added. “We haven’t seen nuclear weapons play such a crucial role in international relations since the Cold War,” said Wilfred Wan, director of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s Weapons of Mass Destruction programme. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the day before that the alliance discussed the deployment of more nuclear weapons because of the growing threat from Russia and China. Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski recently suggested that Russia could potentially keep around 100 tactical nuclear warheads in the Kaliningrad oblast.