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Russia says US decreasing ‘nuclear threshold’ with newer bombs in Europe

LONDON: Russia stated on Saturday that the accelerated deployment of modernised US B61 tactical nuclear weapons at NATO bases in Europe would decrease the “nuclear threshold” and that Russia would take the transfer into consideration in its navy planning.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has triggered the gravest confrontation between Moscow and the West because the 1962 Cuban Missile Disaster when the 2 Chilly Conflict superpowers got here closest to nuclear struggle.
Russia has round 2,000 working tactical nuclear weapons whereas the USA has round 200 such weapons, half of that are at bases in Italy, Germany, Turkey, Belgium and the Netherlands.
Politico reported
on Oct. 26 that the USA informed a closed NATO assembly this month that it might speed up the deployment of a modernised model of the B61, the B61-12, with the brand new weapons arriving at European bases in December, a number of months sooner than deliberate.
“We can not ignore the plans to modernize nuclear weapons, these free-fall bombs which can be in Europe,” Russian Deputy Overseas Minister Alexander Grushko informed state RIA information company.
The 12-ft B61-12 gravity bomb carries a decrease yield nuclear warhead than many earlier variations however is extra correct and might penetrate beneath floor, in accordance with analysis by the Federation of American Scientists printed in 2014.
“The US is modernizing them, rising their accuracy and decreasing the facility of the nuclear cost, that’s, they flip these weapons into ‘battlefield weapons’, thereby decreasing the nuclear threshold,” Grushko stated.
The Pentagon didn’t reply to a request for remark out of US enterprise hours. Politico quoted a spokesman as saying nuclear particulars wouldn’t be mentioned however that the modernisation of B61 weapons had been underway for years.
Amid the Ukraine disaster, President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly stated that Russia will defend its territory with all obtainable means, together with nuclear weapons, if attacked. The feedback raised specific concern within the West after Moscow declared final month it had annexed 4 Ukrainian areas that its forces management components of. Putin says the West has engaged in nuclear blackmail in opposition to Russia.
US President Joe Biden stated on Oct. 6 that Putin had introduced the world nearer to “Armageddon” than at any time because the Cuban Missile Disaster, although Biden later stated he didn’t assume that Putin would use a tactical nuclear weapon.
Putin has not talked about utilizing a tactical nuclear weapon however has stated he suspects Ukraine may detonate a “soiled bomb”, a declare Ukraine and the West say is fake.
The US B61 nuclear bomb was first examined in Nevada shortly after the Cuban Missile Disaster. Beneath Barack Obama, US president from 2009 to 2017, the event of a brand new model of the bomb, the B61-12, was permitted.
Russia’s Grushko stated that Moscow would additionally should take account of the Lockheed Martin F-35 which might drop such a bomb. NATO, he stated, had already strengthened the nuclear components of its navy planning.
NATO “has already made choices to strengthen the nuclear part within the alliance’s navy plans,” Grushko stated.
Russia’s ambassador to Washington, Anatoly Antonov, stated on Saturday on Telegram that the brand new B61 bombs had a “strategic significance” as Russia’s tactical nuclear weapons had been in storage, but these US bombs can be only a quick flight from Russia’s borders.
The B61-12 will change three different variants of the B61 at present in stockpiles, numbers 3, 4, and seven, in accordance with the US Nationwide Nuclear Safety Administration in a factsheet final yr.
The US, in accordance the US 2022 Nuclear Posture Evaluation printed on Thursday, will bolster nuclear deterrence with the F-35, the B61-12 bombs and a nuclear-armed air-launched cruise missile.
“These versatile, tailorable capabilities are key to making sure that Russia’s management doesn’t miscalculate concerning the results of nuclear use on any scale, thereby decreasing their confidence in each initiating typical struggle in opposition to NATO and contemplating the employment of non-strategic nuclear weapons in such a battle,” the evaluation stated.

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