Put down your nukes, Trump warns Russia
RUSSIA has hit back at the "bellicose” nature of the Trump administration's proposed new nuclear policy, which advocates a more aggressive approach towards Moscow.
The US Department of Defence's latest Nuclear Posture Review argues Washington must create a more effective nuclear deterrent, with Russia and other nations holding the "misconception” the US will not use its large-scale strategic nuclear weapons in response to nuclear aggression.
Therefore the Pentagon must increase the number of low-yield weapons.
"Our strategy will ensure Russia understands that any use of nuclear weapons, however limited, is unacceptable,” the review said.
Critics say the new stance will increase the chance of a miscalculation between the pair.
Russia's Foreign Ministry said in a statement it was "deeply disappointed”.
"The bellicose and anti-Russian nature of this document is obvious,” it said, adding, it would take the needed measures to "secure our own safety”.
The review claims Russia has a stockpile of 2000 non-strategic nuclear weapons, while the US has a few hundred active low-yield weapons deployed in Europe.
US officials also argue that since the last NPR in 2010 Russia has expanded and modernised its non-strategic nuclear weapons. Russa also annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014. For the first time publicly, the review also says that Russia is developing a hypersonic, nuclear-powered undersea torpedo.
"The US is not arms racing, we are responding to Russian initiative here,” said Greg Weaver, deputy director of strategic capabilities.
The Russian Foreign Ministry denied the accusations in the report and said Moscow was ready to work constructively with Washington on arms stockpiles. - Chris Stevenson, The Independent