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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Russia’s nuclear drills are response to West’s ‘shameless’ policies – Moscow

The US and its allies will not be able to “play a game of unilateral escalation,” Ambassador Anatoly Antonov has warned

Russia’s decision to conduct tactical nuclear weapons drills is a forced response to the “shameless and aggressive” policies of the Collective West, which creates security threats for Russia and its citizens, Moscow’s ambassador to the US, Anatoly Antonov, stated on Tuesday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday ordered a snap exercise in the use of tactical nuclear weapons in the Southern Military District, which borders Ukraine. The drill is intended as a warning to the US and its allies not to escalate the Ukraine conflict any further, both the Foreign and Defense Ministries in Moscow said in public statements.

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According to Antonov, the US and its allies are constantly beefing up supplies of increasingly deadly weapons to Ukraine designed to “kill Russian people” and attack the territory of the country.

“Step by step they are abandoning their previously declared ‘self-restraints’ in the hybrid war unleashed against us,” he said. “Roughly speaking, they are trying to ‘simmer’ our country.”

Asked to comment on a statement made by White House national security spokesman John Kirby on Monday, who accused Russia of “reckless and irresponsible” nuclear “saber-rattling,” Antonov responded that Russia is not threatening anyone.

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However, the “unhinged strategists” in Washington and the EU should understand that in the escalation of the situation surrounding the Ukraine conflict which they are spurring, “Russia will use all means to protect its sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the envoy said. “The West will not be able to play a game of unilateral escalation.”

The tactical nuclear drills are taking place “in the context of recent belligerent statements by Western officials and sharply destabilizing actions taken by a number of NATO countries” in connection with the Ukraine conflict, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Monday.

The US-led bloc’s policy of inflicting a strategic defeat” on Russia is leading it to “a further escalation of the Ukraine crisis towards an open military clash” between NATO and Moscow, the ministry added.

The Russian Defense Ministry cited “provocative statements and threats against Russia by certain Western officials” as the reason for the exercise.

They include Polish statements about the potential stationing of US nuclear weapons in Poland, as well as recent remarks by President Emmanuel Macron about the possibility of sending French and other NATO soldiers to Ukraine.