Threat of nuclear war 'highest since Cold War', House of Lords report warns

The Lords have called for greater dialogue between countries regarding nuclear risks. (GETTY)

The threat of nuclear war has risen to the highest in 30 years due to tensions between the West and Russia, a House of Lords report has warned.

The report by the Lords International Relations Committee has said that we are now “dangerously close to a work without arms control agreements” which could lead to a “new arms race”.

The report called for open conversation between Russia and the West to stop nuclear arms controls from breaking down.

It has warned that any misunderstanding between countries could lead to the use of nuclear weapons and the worsening security environment has stalled global progress towards disarmament.

In December Putin warned that the threat of nuclear war should not be underestimated. (GETTY)

With regards to the report, the Chairman of the Committee, Lord Howell of Guildford said: “We are now dangerously close to a world without arms control agreements, paving the way for a new arms race and for increased risk of nuclear weapons use.

“Disintegrating relationships between nuclear possessor states, new capabilities and technologies, mixed with a lack of communication and understanding, mean that the risk of nuclear weapons being used is greater now than it has been since the Cold War.”

The peers have called on the government to encourage more communication between countries that own nuclear weapons about their risk in a bid to reduce global tensions.

They particularly demanded the government speaks to Russia about nuclear strategic stability.

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They also asked the Government to review Britain’s Trident nuclear deterrent due to concerns it could be vulnerable to cyber attack.

Lord Howell also said: “The 2019 Preparatory Committee for the 2020 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference next week is an opportunity to push for an increase in dialogue and transparency between the Nuclear Weapon States to show a demonstrable commitment to disarmament.

“We urge the Government to take our serious concerns into consideration, and use the Preparatory Committee to address them.”

State leaders are due to meet for the 2019 Preparatory Committee of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference at the UN in New York next week.