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Russia behaves itself as irresponsible nuclear power, NATO commander says

June 18, 2015, 0:31 UTC+3 LONDON
Kremlin spokesman told journalists that Russia was not taking any actions, which could arouse Western security concerns. He explained that all steps which Russia had taken were retaliatory measures
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© AP Photo/Sergei Chuzavkov

LONDON, June 17 /TASS/. Russia’s plans to add more than 40 new intercontinental ballistic missiles to its nuclear arsenal this year are not appropriate for a responsible nuclear power, US General Philip Breedlove, NATO's supreme allied commander in Europe, said in Swietoszow, Western Poland, on Wednesday.

"This is not a way that responsible nuclear nations behave," General Breedlove told Reuters. "A rhetoric which ratchets up tensions in a nuclear sense is not a responsible behaviour and we seek and ask that these (nuclear) nations handle this particular type of weapon in a more responsible way."

In his speech at the opening of the Army 2015 International Military Technological Forum, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that more than 40 new inter-continental ballistic missiles would be added to Russia’s nuclear arsenal this year. "They will be capable of penetrating any, even the most technologically advanced, anti-missile defense systems," the Russian president said.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists that Russia was not taking any actions, which could arouse Western security concerns. He explained that all steps which Russia had taken were retaliatory measures.

"The Russian president is giving fairly good arguments to set forth Russia’s stance on strategic security. The deterring effect of nuclear weapons can hardly be denied," Peskov said. Apart from his speech at the Army 2015 forum on Tuesday, President Putin gave a joint news conference with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto where he clearly explained that it was not Russia that was approaching anybody’s borders but NATO’s military infrastructure that was expanding closer to Russia’s borders.

Polish Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak meanwhile has urged NATO to consistently increase presence on its eastern fringe irrespective of Russia’s stance.

"Those who are responsible for the security of their countries should do their job irrespective of someone’s words or threats," the minister said on Wednesday adding that remarks of intention to target their systems at someone did not contribute to building reciprocal trust.

"I believe that these remarks are meant for internal public opinion but even though they are not creating good atmosphere," the Polish Press Agency quoted the defense minister as saying.

According to Siemoniak, it’s useless to enter into any discussions with Russia. "One day the messages are calm, the next day they are strong. I believe that a NATO adopted line of calm and consistent expansion of its presence and military capabilities in the east is more than rational," the Polish defense minister stressed.

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