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Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov. Picture: REUTERS/VLADIMIR PIROGOV/FILE
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov. Picture: REUTERS/VLADIMIR PIROGOV/FILE

Moscow — The Kremlin said on Monday that Nato secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg’s remarks about talks on deploying more nuclear weapons were an escalation.

Nato is in talks to deploy more nuclear weapons, taking them out of storage and placing them on standby, in the face of a growing threat from Russia and China, Stoltenberg told The Telegraph newspaper.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said that Stoltenberg’s comments appeared to contradict the communique of the Ukraine Conference that said any threat or use of nuclear weapons in the Ukraine context was inadmissible.

“This is nothing but another escalation of tension,” Peskov said of the Stoltenberg remarks.

Russia says the US and its European allies are pushing the world to the brink of nuclear confrontation by giving Ukraine billions of dollars worth of weapons, some of which are being used against Russian territory.

Russia and the US are by far the world’s biggest nuclear powers, holding about 88% of the world’s nuclear weapons, according to the Federation of American Scientists.

The US has about 100 non-strategic B61 nuclear weapons deployed in five European countries — Italy, Germany, Turkey, Belgium and the Netherlands, according to the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. The US has another 100 such weapons within its borders.

Russia has about 1,558 non-strategic nuclear warheads, though arms control experts say it is very difficult to say just how many there are due to secrecy.

Reuters

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