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6 May, 2024 12:20

Nuclear weapons drills a response to ‘escalation’ – Kremlin

Recent statements by politicians in some NATO states have sparked a new “unprecedented round of tension,” spokesperson Dmitry Peskov has said
Nuclear weapons drills a response to ‘escalation’ – Kremlin

Russia has decided to hold tactical nuclear weapons drills in response to certain NATO countries’ remarks about potentially sending troops to Ukraine, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov has said.

Earlier on Monday, the Russian Defense Ministry announced plans to test its ability to deploy the arms. The exercise will be conducted “in the near future” and was ordered by President Vladimir Putin, the ministry said.

According to Peskov, the decision was made following a “new” and “unprecedented” escalation of the situation surrounding the Ukraine conflict.

“They talked about the readiness and even the intention to send armed contingents to Ukraine, that is, to actually put NATO soldiers in front of the Russian military,” Peskov said at a press briefing on Monday.

Last week, French President Emanuel Macron suggested that Western nations “would legitimately have to ask” themselves whether they should deploy their militaries to Ukraine “if the Russians were to break through the front lines, [and] if there were a Ukrainian request.”

Across the Atlantic, House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries said on Sunday that the US may have to deploy troops to Ukraine if its efforts to support Kiev with military aid fail and the country falls.

Former UK Prime Minister and current Foreign Secretary David Cameron stated last week that Ukraine has every right to use British weapons to strike targets deep inside Russia.

This is a new round of escalation of tension, and it is unprecedented. It requires special attention and special measures,” Peskov told journalists on Monday.

The Defense Ministry in Moscow cited “provocative statements and threats against Russia by certain Western officials” as the reason for the exercise. Missile forces from the Southern Military District will be directly involved in the drills, the ministry said. The goal is to iron out “the practical aspects of the preparation and deployment of non-strategic nuclear weapons,” it added.

Moscow has repeatedly alleged that NATO has long been a “de facto” party to the Ukraine conflict, as it has been providing Kiev with arms, sharing intelligence, and training Ukrainian troops. According to the secretary of the Russian Security Council, Nikolay Patrushev, the US-led military bloc is aiming to control Ukraine and turn it into an “anti-Russian” proxy.

According to Russia, despite threats from the West, it will continue to carry out its military operation in Ukraine until all of its goals are achieved.