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8 Feb, 2023 14:26

Russia warns of direct clash with US

Washington is seeking a deterrence advantage, which could cause an outright war, Moscow has warned
Russia warns of direct clash with US

The US has “unleashed a total hybrid war” and is putting two nuclear nations on a path to direct confrontation, the Russian Foreign Ministry has said. Moscow claims Washington’s demands for nuclear inspections in Russia are “cynical”, and noted its “obvious” assistance in Ukrainian attacks on Moscow's strategic nuclear forces.

The allegations were part of the Ministry’s public comments on the status of the New START treaty, the last remaining US-Russian agreement on nuclear weapons reduction. According to US media, the Department of State notified the Congress last week that Russia was in “noncompliance” due to a refusal to facilitate inspections on its soil.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said that was not true, since the treaty allows suspension of inspection. Washington was the first to block Russian monitors from doing their job in the US, it alleged. The ministry said that “created obvious unilateral benefits” for the US and prompted a response in kind from Moscow.

The 2010 treaty was signed in a different environment and is based on the notion that the US and Russia are equal partners who seek to build trust and improve global security through disarmament, the ministry explained. But now that Washington has declared the “strategic defeat” of Russia as its goal and ramped up tensions in all aspects of bilateral relations, there can be no “business as usual” with the US, according to the statement.

“Until Washington revises its hostile stance regarding Russia and drops the policy of increasing the threats towards our national security,” Moscow will consider any proposed gestures of goodwill under the nuclear treaty “unjustified, untimely and uncalled for.”

The Russian ministry didn’t elaborate on which “strategic nuclear forces objects” the Ukrainian side attacked with US help, which allegedly involved “military-technical and information-intelligence” aspects.

The Russian Defense Ministry has previously blamed Ukraine for two attacks against Engels air base in Saratov Region. Both happened in December and reportedly involved Soviet-made long-range drones. The first incident coincided with a similar attack against the Dyagilevo airfield in Ryazan Region.

Both Russian airfields host strategic bombers, which can carry and deploy nuclear weapons in addition to conventional air-launched missiles.