US lowering threshold for using nukes causes deepest concern – Lavrov
Russia is worried the US could respond with nuclear weapons to a wider range of circumstances and that its priorities lie in establishing “military supremacy and upsetting parity” when it comes to “strategic stability.”
“The US policy of lowering the threshold of using nuclear weapons causes the deepest concern,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at the Moscow Conference on International Security. Washington’s latest Nuclear Posture Review expands a number of scenarios in which a nuclear response would be considered.
The US is also planning to replace outdated ballistic missiles with new, less powerful nuclear warheads to have them available and ready to give a “flexible response.”
NATO’s growing military activity near the borders of Russia and further efforts to deploy missile defense systems there is another worrisome factor for Moscow. “In the sphere of strategic stability, Washington attaches priority to gaining military supremacy and upsetting parity,” he said.
The Russian foreign minister also expressed concern over “speculations about spreading within NATO’s framework Article 5 of the Washington Treaty to the problems emerging in cyberspace.” The article states that an attack against one ally is considered an attack against all allies. NATO is working on expanding its guidelines on what could trigger its collective response to cyberattacks. Russia often called for "starting a professional discussion on confidence building measures and resistance to threats in that field " but there were no response either from Washington or from Brussels.
Lavrov said the West should finally realize that they will no longer be able to play the “one goal game.”
“There are no prospects for them to seek to achieve unilateral advantages at our expense and that security in the Euro-Atlantics, in the Asia-Pacific region and in the world as a whole should be equal and indivisible.”
Although US President Donald Trump criticized his predecessors for being too involved with other countries rather than focusing on the US, the current administration has been embracing more and more war hawks recently.
Trump, however, says he is open for dialogue with Russia and the leaders of both countries agreed there should not be another arms race.
“[We] are not interested either in confrontation or in setting off an arms race. But Russia will safeguard purposefully and effectively its interests, its sovereignty and independence, using the entire arsenal of tools available to us,” Lavrov said.