The B61-12, a US nuclear bomb, when authorized for service, may lower the threshold of using nuclear weapons, Director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Non-Proliferation and Weapons Control Department, Mikhail Ulyanov, said on Tuesday.
“US military specialists claim that this bomb will be more ethical and more usable, because it has greater accuracy and results in less catastrophic effects for civilians if used on vast areas,” Ulyanov said.
“This prompts the conclusion that when they go operational, such bombs may objectively lower the threshold of using nuclear weapons. We see this as the key negative effect of the ongoing upgrade work.”
Plans to deploy the newest US B61-12 nuclear bomb to a number of NATO member-states in Europe violates the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT):
“The most recent variations of the B61-12 bombs are also designed for deployment to the territory of a number of NATO countries in Europe for use as part of the so-called nuclear missions involving pilots from the alliance’s non-nuclear member-states,” the diplomat stated. “According to our assessment, this runs counter to the NPT commitments,” the Russian diplomat noted.
Modernization under cover
The US uses its accusations against Russia as a “smoke screen” to modernize its nuclear arsenals, the diplomat said.
“These tests are carried out as part of the well-known program aimed for the coming several years,” he said.
It is noteworthy that the tests and the program are conducted amid constant accusations of Washington and some other NATO capitals that Russia is allegedly more relying on nuclear weapons in its military doctrine and defense policy.
“There is such a feeling that these accusations serve also as a smoke screen to modernize rather dangerous US potentials,” Ulyanov said.