- Russia warns US about new B61
- The Pentagon: The Long Term Plan for Modernization
- Russia says NATO will step up nuclear program
- Pentagon: B61 upgrade has nothing to do with Ukraine
- Russia: new bombs are of strategic importance
LONDON (Reuters) – Russia will lower the “nuclear threshold” by deploying U.S. B61 tactical nuclear weapons to NATO bases in Europe on Thursday, and Russia will take the move into account in its military plans said.
Russia has about 2,000 operational tactical nuclear weapons, and the United States has about 200, half of them at bases in Italy, Germany, Turkey, Belgium, and the Netherlands.
Amid the Ukraine crisis, Politico said on Oct. 26 that the United States will accelerate the deployment of the B61-12, a modernized version of the B61, at a closed-door NATO meeting this month, with new weapons coming to bases in Europe. He said he would arrive. December, a few months earlier than planned.
Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Aleksandr Glushko told the state news agency RIA: “We cannot ignore the modernization of nuclear weapons – free-falling bombs in Europe.”
According to a Federation of American Scientists study published in 2014, the 12-foot B61-12 gravity bomb carries a lower-yield nuclear warhead than many previous versions, but is more accurate and can penetrate underground. can penetrate.
“The U.S. is modernizing them, increasing their accuracy, and reducing the power of nuclear bombs, transforming them into ‘battlefield weapons’ and thereby lowering the nuclear threshold,” Glushko said.
The Pentagon said it did not intend to discuss the details of the US nuclear arsenal and that the premise of the Politico article was false because the US had long planned to modernize its B61 nuclear arsenal.
“The modernization of the U.S. B61 nuclear arsenal has been underway for many years, and plans to safely and responsibly replace older weapons for upgraded B61-12 versions are long planned and scheduled. It’s part of the ongoing modernization effort,” Pentagon spokesman Oscar Sheila said.
“It has absolutely nothing to do with current events in Ukraine, nor is it speeding up,” Ciara said in an email.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine sparked the most serious confrontation between Moscow and the West since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, when the two Cold War superpowers came closest to nuclear war.
President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly said that if attacked, Russia will defend its territory by all available means, including nuclear weapons.
The comments sparked particular concern in the West after the Russian government last month declared it had annexed four regions of Ukraine partly controlled by its military. said to have been involved in
US President Joe Biden said on October 6 that Putin had brought the world closer to “Armageddon” since the Cuban Missile Crisis, but Biden later said he did not believe Putin would use tactical nuclear weapons. said no.
Putin did not mention the use of tactical nuclear weapons, but said he suspected Ukraine could detonate a “dirty bomb”.
The US B61 nuclear bomb was first tested in Nevada shortly after the Cuban Missile Crisis. Under Barack Obama, who was US President from 2009 to 2017, a new version of the bomb, the B61-12, was approved for development.
Russia’s Glushko said Moscow should also consider Lockheed Martin F-35s to drop such bombs. He said NATO has already strengthened the core part of its military program.
NATO “has already made decisions to strengthen the nuclear component of the alliance’s military program,” Grushko said.
Russia’s ambassador to Washington, Anatoly Antonov, said in a telegram on Saturday that the new B61 bombs have “strategic importance” due to the storage of Russia’s tactical nuclear arsenal, but these US bombs do not reach Russia’s borders. He said it was just a short distance from
The US will strengthen its nuclear deterrent with F-35, B61-12 bombs and nuclear-armed air-launched cruise missiles, according to the US 2022 Nuclear Posture Review released Thursday.
Edited by Frances Kelly and Helen Popper
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