Russia Calls Out 'Nuclear Weapons Hypocrisy': US Has Tactical Nukes In 5 Non-Nuclear Weapon States
The Kremlin has blasted what a Russian official called the United States' "vivid example of hypocrisy" as part of the latest war of words in the wake of President Putin's announcing he has stationed tactical nuclear weapons in neighboring Belarus.
Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov on Tuesday called out Washington's "extremely short memory" - given it "has long been systematically destroying the legal basis of bilateral relations in strategic sphere," which is a reference to the collapse of multiple nuclear treaties of late, including 'Open Skies' and the INF Treaty in 2019. New START is also looking to come to an end at the rate things are going.
At the start of this week Western officials sounded the alarm over Putin's fresh announcement, which many within NATO countries interpreted as but the latest 'expansionist' threat.
CBS recounts of what Putin said:
Russia has ratcheted up tensions with the West amid its ongoing war against Ukraine, with President Vladimir Putin saying Moscow will deploy "tactical nuclear weapons" in Belarus. The Russian leader said 10 fighter jets capable of carrying tactical nuclear weapons — generally a reference to smaller weapons used for limited battlefield attacks, rather than larger, long-range "strategic" nuclear weapons — were already deployed in Belarus. Putin said Russia would also position nuclear-armed Iskander hypersonic missiles, with a range of around 300 miles, in Belarus.
In response, the US State Department condemned the Russian leader's "irresponsible nuclear rhetoric," and said that "no other country is inflicting such damage on arms control, nor seeking to undermine strategic stability in Europe."
The scathing denunciation had been issued by US State Department representative Vedant Patel. Amb. Antonov addressed the American official by name, saying, "As for Mr Patel's words regarding our President's statements on the Russian-Belarusian cooperation in the military-nuclear sphere, it is a vivid example of hypocrisy of the American politics," in a statement released by the Russian Embassy.
Antonov underscored that the US has long stationed nuclear weapons not far from Russia: "For the last 60 years Washington has been playing a key role in NATO’s nuclear sharing missions by supporting deployment of its tactical nuclear weapons in five non-nuclear weapon states - Belgium, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, and Turkey," he said. Putin had days ago voiced a similar rationale...
⚡️Putin: Russia is not transferring its nuclear weapons to Belarus, but is doing what the US has been doing for decades pic.twitter.com/vblLo2pJWI— War Monitor (@WarMonitors) March 25, 2023
The Russian ambassador to the US at the conclusion of his statement cited a proverb: "If your face is crooked, do not blame the mirror," in reference to the charge of US 'nuclear hypocrisy'.
As for failing nuclear treaties, New START is the latest which looks to be faltering, after Russia recently declared it is suspending participation over US violations. According to the latest being reported in The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, Washington will no longer be sharing data on its nuclear forces with Moscow. Though sharing of nuclear data is stipulated under the terms of the treaty, the US has cited the Russian side's lack of participation as the driving reason behind the move.