Moscow Reminds EU Commission President of US Role in Hiroshima Bombing
© AP PhotoHiroshima
© AP Photo
The US is the world’s only country that has used a nuclear weapon against a population. About 140,000 people were killed after Washington's decision to drop an atomic bomb on Hiroshima in August 1945.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen overlooked the US' responsibility for the catastrophic Hiroshima atomic bombing in 1945, while criticizing Russia for engaging in "nuclear saber-rattling," during her speech at the Atlantic Council Global Citizen Awards ceremony in New York on Thursday.
She went on to praise Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who was among the award recipients.
The European Commission president, in particular, recalled that 66-year-old Kishida comes from Hiroshima and that many of his relatives “lost their lives when the atomic bomb razed” this Japanese city “to the ground.”
Referring to her and her colleagues’ trip to Hiroshima ahead of a G7 summit, von der Leynen said that Kishida has “grown up with the stories of survivors” and “wanted us to listen to the same stories, to face the past and learn something about the future.”
“It was a sobering start to the G7 and one that I will not forget, especially at a time when Russia threatens to use nuclear weapons once again. It is heinous, it is dangerous – and in the shadow of Hiroshima, it is unforgivable. No one is better poised than Japan to warn us of the extreme danger of this recklessness. As the only country that has suffered from atomic bombings, you have made the whole world listen,” she added.
© SputnikHiroshima after the US atomic bombing. WWII (1938-1945).
Hiroshima after the US atomic bombing. WWII (1938-1945).
The reason for her silence regarding the actors behind the devastating act in dropping an atomic bomb on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, which resulted in the deaths of approximately 140,000 innocent civilians, remains shrouded in ambiguity. Three days later, Americans dropped an atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Nagasaki, killing 74,000 more. America became the first and only country in the world to use a nuclear weapon against a population center.
In response to von der Leynen's remarks, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova accused the European Commission president of making "no mention whatsoever of the US and its executioners who dropped the bombs on populated Japanese cities."
Zakharova responded on social media, arguing that von der Leyen's assertions on Moscow's supposed intentions to employ nuclear weapons "is despicable and dangerous" and "lies."
The need for nuclear weapons in Russia was emphasized by President Vladimir Putin, who stated that the conditions for using them do not currently exist. However, he did acknowledge that in the event of a threat to the country's territorial integrity, independence, and existence, the possibility of utilizing nuclear weapons cannot be ruled out.
“Nuclear weapons are being created in order to ensure our security in the broadest sense of the word, [and to protect] the existence of the Russian state, but we, firstly, do not have such a need,” Putin told the 2023 St.Peterburg International Economic Forum in June.
Moreover, he added that “the very fact of this topic's discussion already means the possibility of lowering the threshold for the use of nuclear weapons.”
© Sputnik / OvchinnikovThe "Little Boy" atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. A photo taken in August 1945.
The "Little Boy" atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. A photo taken in August 1945.
© Sputnik / Ovchinnikov
The remarks followed Putin's announcement in late February that Russia suspended its participation in the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START). He stressed that the country was not withdrawing from the accord.
“They [Western countries] want to inspect our defense facilities. This sounds like nonsense. We are not allowed to conduct full-fledged inspections. Our requests remain unanswered or are rejected on formal grounds,” Putin said during a message to the Russian Federal Assembly when announcing Moscow’s New START suspension.
He also made it clear that Russia will not be the first to conduct nuclear tests, but that if the US conducts such tests, Moscow will follow suit.