Mainz against nuclear weapons

Mainz against nuclear weapons

Protest against nuclear weapons and nuclear power plants © Caroline Seidel

While Russia and the U.S. want out of the INF disarmament treaty, Mainz has signed an anti-nuclear initiative. City becomes first German municipality to speak out clearly against nuclear weapons.

Mainz is the first municipality in Germany to sign an anti-nuclear initiative of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN). This was announced by ICAN on Saturday.

"We firmly believe that our residents have the right to live free from this threat. Any use of nuclear weapons, whether intentional or accidental, would result in catastrophic, far-reaching and long-lasting consequences for people and the environment," the appeal says. Already, cities in North America, Europe and Australia would have joined in.

Russia and the U.S. pull out of INF treaty

"Against the backdrop of yesterday’s U.S. withdrawal from the INF Treaty, the city of Mainz is drawing the right consequence, while the German government continues to shirk a commitment to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty," said Martin Hinrichs, board member of ICAN Germany.

The abbreviation INF stands for "Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces," and refers to the ban on land-based intermediate-range nuclear missiles. Meanwhile, Russia has also suspended the disarmament treaty, according to media reports.

Concern about nuclear arms race

On Friday, the peace commissioner of the Council of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD), Renke Brahms, had already called on the U.S. and Russia to abide by the agreement. Both sides should return to the negotiating table as soon as possible to prevent "a new nuclear arms race".

"Instead of canceling treaties, it is better to sit down at the table and seek concrete steps to outlaw nuclear weapons," he stressed. "The INF Treaty in particular could have served as a model here, because with this treaty, which also came about through the protests of the peace movement in East and West, the scrapping of nuclear weapons was agreed for the first time instead of an arms limitation."

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