The risk of nuclear weapons being used has reached its peak since the Cold War, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) reports.
According to SIPRI experts, nine members of the “nuclear club” - the USA, Russia, Great Britain, France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea – have been modernizing their nuclear arsenals.
As of early this year, about 9,440 of the 1,705 nuclear warheads were in military stockpiles for potential use. Of these, about 3,732 were deployed with missiles and aircraft, and around 2,000 – nearly all of which belonged to Russia or the United States - were kept in a state of high operational alert.
Leaders in the number of deployed nuclear warheads as of January 2022:
- U.S. - 1,744 (total stockpile - 3,708),
- Russia - 1,588 (4,477),
- France - 280 (290)
Although the total number of nuclear weapons decreased slightly between January 2021 and January 2022, it is likely to increase in the next decade, SIPRI says. According to experts, problems in the field of nuclear diplomacy have been exacerbated by the deterioration of relations between the countries. For example, due to the war in Ukraine and Russia’s threats about the use of nuclear weapons, bilateral talks between Russia and the United States on strategic stability have stalled.