PanamaTimes

Thursday, Feb 22, 2024

Russia says U.S. lowering 'nuclear threshold' with newer bombs in Europe

Russia says U.S. lowering 'nuclear threshold' with newer bombs in Europe

Russia said on Saturday that the accelerated deployment of modernised U.S. B61 tactical nuclear weapons at NATO bases in Europe would lower the "nuclear threshold" and that Russia would take the move into account in its military planning.

Russia has about 2,000 working tactical nuclear weapons while the United States has around 200 such weapons, half of which are at bases in Italy, Germany, Turkey, Belgium and the Netherlands.

Amid the Ukraine crisis, Politico reported on Oct. 26 that the United States told a closed NATO meeting this month that it would accelerate the deployment of a modernised version of the B61, the B61-12, with the new weapons arriving at European bases in December, several months earlier than planned.

"We cannot ignore the plans to modernize nuclear weapons, those free-fall bombs that are in Europe," Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko told state RIA news agency.

The 12-ft B61-12 gravity bomb carries a lower yield nuclear warhead than many earlier versions but is more accurate and can penetrate below ground, according to research by the Federation of American Scientists published in 2014.

"The United States is modernizing them, increasing their accuracy and reducing the power of the nuclear charge, that is, they turn these weapons into 'battlefield weapons', thereby reducing the nuclear threshold," Grushko said.

The Pentagon said it was not going to discuss the details of the U.S. nuclear arsenal and that the premise of the Politico article was wrong as the United States had long planned the modernisation of its B61 nuclear weapons.

"Modernization of U.S. B61 nuclear weapons has been underway for years, and plans to safely and responsibly swap out older weapons for the upgraded B61-12 versions are part of a long-planned and scheduled modernization effort," Pentagon spokesman Oscar Seara said.

"It is in no way linked to current events in Ukraine and was not sped up in any way," Seara said in an emailed statement.

Russia's invasion of Ukraine has triggered the gravest 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 Russia will defend its territory with all available means, including nuclear weapons, if attacked.

The comments raised particular concern in the West after Moscow declared last month it had annexed four Ukrainian regions that its forces control parts of. Putin says the West has engaged in nuclear blackmail against Russia.


'STRATEGIC SIGNIFICANCE'


U.S. President Joe Biden said on Oct. 6 that Putin had brought the world closer to "Armageddon" than at any time since the Cuban Missile Crisis, though Biden later said he did not think that Putin would use a tactical nuclear weapon.

Putin has not mentioned using a tactical nuclear weapon but has said he suspects Ukraine could detonate a "dirty bomb", a claim Ukraine and the West say is false.

The U.S. B61 nuclear bomb was first tested in Nevada shortly after the Cuban Missile Crisis. Under Barack Obama, U.S. president from 2009 to 2017, the development of a new version of the bomb, the B61-12, was approved.

Russia's Grushko said that Moscow would also have to take account of the Lockheed Martin F-35 which would drop such a bomb. NATO, he said, had already strengthened the nuclear parts of its military planning.

NATO "has already made decisions to strengthen the nuclear component in the alliance's military plans," Grushko said.

Russia's ambassador to Washington, Anatoly Antonov, said on Saturday on Telegram that the new B61 bombs had a "strategic significance" as Russia's tactical nuclear weapons were in storage, yet these U.S. bombs would be just a short flight from Russia's borders.

The United States, according to the U.S. 2022 Nuclear Posture Review published on Thursday, will bolster nuclear deterrence with the F-35, the B61-12 bombs and a nuclear-armed air-launched cruise missile.

Newsletter

Related Articles

PanamaTimes
Apple warns against drying iPhones with rice
In a recent High Court hearing, the U.S. argued that Julian Assange endangered lives by releasing classified information.
Global Law Enforcement Dismantles Lockbit Ransomware Operation
Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny has died at the Arctic prison colony
The President of Argentina Javier Mile does not fly private, he flies commercial, with the citizens he represents. And they LOVE him for it.
Bitcoin Reaches $50,000 for First Time in Over Two Years
Belo Horizonte: Brazil's Rising Carnival Hotspot for 2024
In El Salvador, the 'Trump of Latin America' stuns the world with a speech slamming woke policing after winning a landslide election
Tucker’s interview with Putin is over 50M views on X within the first 5 hours.
Finnish Airline, Finnair, is voluntarily weighing passengers to better estimate flight cargo weight
President Nayib Bukele has proudly announced El Salvador's remarkable achievement of becoming the safest nation in the Western Hemisphere.
Former Chilean President Sebastian Piñera Dies in Helicopter Crash
This farmer seems to understand science a bit more than the event organizer, Klaus Schwab.
Facebook turns 20: From Mark Zuckerberg's dormitory to a $1trn company
The Coolest Dictator in the World" on the Path to Victory in El Salvador
Macron, France and fake news
Indian-Origin Man 'King' Arrested For Smuggling $16 Million Drugs Into US
Can someone teach Americans that not every person with slanted eyes is Chinese?
Europe's Farmers Feeding the People, Protesting Against Politicians Who Do Nothing for Their Country and Serve Only Themselves at Taxpayers' Expense
Paris Restaurant That Inspired 'Ratatouille' Loses $1.6 Million Worth Of Wine
Brazilian Police Investigate Bolsonaro's Son for Alleged Illegal Spying
Police in Brazil Raid Residence of Bolsonaro Associate Over Allegations of Illegal Spying
Border Dispute Escalates as Texas Governor Vows Increased Razor Wire
OpenAI Enhances ChatGPT-4 Model, Potentially Addressing AI "Laziness" Issue
The NSA finally acknowledges spying on Americans by acquiring sensitive data
Report Reveals Toxic Telegram Group Generating X-Rated AI-Generated Fake Images of Taylor Swift
US Border Patrol States 'No Plans' to Remove Razor Wire Installed in Texas
Bitcoin Experiences Approximately 20% Decline in Value
Klaus Schwab recently appointed himself as the Earth's "trustee of the future."
DeSantis Drops Out, Endorses Trump.
Nikki Haley said former President Trump is "just not at the same level" of mental fitness as he was while president in 2016.
Residents of a southern Mexican town set the government palace on fire in response to the police killing of a young man
Samsung Launches AI-Driven Galaxy S24, Ushering in New Smartphone Era
Judge Questions SEC's Regulatory Overreach in Coinbase Lawsuit
The Ecuador prosecutor who was investigating the television studio attack, has been assassinated.
Is artificial intelligence the solution to cyber security threats?
Vivek Ramaswamy suspends his US election campaign and endorses Trump.
Viral Satire: A Staged Satirical Clip Mistaken as Real Footage from the 2024 World Economic Forum in Davos
The AI Revolution in the Workforce: CEOs at Davos Predict Major Job Cuts in 2024
Ecuador Reports 178 Hostages in Prison Gang Standoff
The Startling Cuban Espionage Case That Has Rattled the US Government
Two Armed Men in Ecuador, Dressed as Batman and The Joker Storm the Streets.
Armed Gang Raids Ecuadorian TV Station Following State of Emergency Declaration
Anti-Democratic Canada: Journalist Arrested for Questioning Canadian Finance Minister on Support of Terrorist Group
Ecuador's 'Most-Wanted' Criminal Vanishes from Prison
Mexican Cartel Supplied Wi-Fi to Locals Under Threat of Fatal Consequences for Non-Compliance
Border Surge Leads to Over 11,000 Migrants Waiting in Northern Mexico
Outsider Candidates Triumph in Latin American Elections
As Argentina Goes to the Polls, Will the Proposal to Replace the Peso with the Dollar Secure Votes?
Fatal Shark Attack Claims Life of Boston Woman Paddleboarding Near Bahamas Resort, According to Police
×