Moscow accuses G7 members of hypocrisy
Members of the G7 are providing false data about the size of their nuclear arsenals, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov claimed on Monday. The remarks came after the group accused Russia and China of not being transparent in reporting their strategic offensive weapon capabilities.
In a statement following the latest G7 summit in Hiroshima, Japan, the group stressed the “importance of transparency with regard to nuclear weapons” and praised the US, UK, and France for “providing data on their nuclear forces and the objective size of their nuclear arsenal.”
“Such statements are inadequate,” Ryabkov claimed, arguing that the data published by the West is intended to score political points and is “frankly hypocritical.”
The diplomat asserted that the figures declared by the US and its allies “are often fictitious or conditional.” In particular, he pointed to data recently published by the US under the New START treaty, which he said “continues to be misleading due to its inconsistency with the START counting rules.”
He also accused Washington of manipulating the data by leaving “more than 100 units” of its nuclear weapons “outside the brackets.”
Data published by France and the UK, meanwhile, is “not verifiable at all” and “purely declarative,” Ryabkov insisted. He also accused NATO of continuously refusing to provide specific figures on US strategic arms in Europe.
The diplomat argued that Russia, in contrast, “invariably acts in a responsible manner” regarding nuclear matters and shows “all possible transparency,” as long as this does not pose undue risk to national security.
“In general, one gets the impression that Western rhetoric about the size of their nuclear arsenals pursues a single goal – to exert psychological and military-political pressure on Russia and China. Behind it is clearly a pathological desire to denigrate our countries,” Ryabkov said.
Earlier this year, Russia officially suspended its participation in the New START treaty – the last bilateral nuclear arms reduction deal with the US. Moscow explained the move by pointing to Washington’s refusal to allow Russian inspections of its nuclear facilities, as well as the alleged use of the Ukrainian military to carry out proxy attacks against Russia’s strategic aviation forces.
On Tuesday, Ryabkov reiterated that Russia does not intend to share data on the total number of its warheads under the START agreement, despite the US recently publishing its own. “START has been suspended,” the official stressed.