The world's nuclear-armed states are strengthening their nuclear arsenals in the face of the Ukraine war and the overall deteriorating security situation around the world. This emerges from the annual report of the Stockholm peace research institute Sipri, which the independent organization published today.
The global stock of nuclear warheads fell by almost 200 to an estimated 12,512 from the beginning of 2022 to the beginning of 2023. On the other hand, the number of operational nuclear weapons has begun to increase, by 86 to an estimated 9,576.
"Global reductions in deployed warheads appear to have stalled and numbers are picking up again," the Sipri report said. At the same time, both the US and Russia - by far the world's two largest nuclear powers - have launched extensive and costly modernization programs.
The number of nuclear weapons worldwide has been falling steadily for decades. The decline is mainly due to the fact that discarded warheads are gradually being dismantled by Russia and the USA. The peace researchers therefore not only look at the estimated total stocks, but also at the operational arsenals.
According to Sipri, nine countries have nuclear weapons: In addition to Russia and the USA, there are also China, France and Great Britain as well as Pakistan, India, Israel and North Korea. Germany has no nuclear weapons.