MOSCOW, July 13. /TASS/. The United States’ tests of the B61-12 atomic bomb were obviously meant to drill its possible use from NATO bombers deployed in Europe, which speaks about Washington’s plans to preserve in Europe nuclear weapons capable of reaching the Russian territory, Russian Deputy Defence Minister Anatoly Antonov said on Monday.
He said the Russian defence ministry could not leave unnoticed tests of the B61-12 atomic bomb the United States conducted in Nevada on July 1. He noted that a bomb of that type is a dual-use bomb that can be used as both an element of strategic missile weapons placed at heavy bombers and non-strategic nuclear weapons placed onboard tactical aviation warplanes.
"Specifics of these tests was the use of the F-15E fighter bomber as a carrier of nuclear weapons. It gives grounds to think that the tests were meant to drill possible use of the B61-12 atomic bomb from NATO fighters deployed in Europe," he said.
According to the Russian deputy defence minister, the United States’ actions in the current situation were openly provocative and ran counter to Washington’s statements about its desire for nuclear disarmament. "We note that the US actions in the current situation are of openly provocative nature and run counter to Washington’s statements about its desire for full nuclear disarmament," Antonov said. "They confirm the US intentions to keep nuclear means deployed in Europe and capable of reaching the Russian territory and ensure their maximum combat efficiency. We also perceive this as evidence of the US side’s stubborn unwillingness to give up the involvement of NATO non-nuclear states in joint nuclear missions, which directly contradict the obligations under the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty."
"It turns out that under the disguise of a notorious and invented threat coming from the Russian side, the United States was not only increasing the military potential and activity of NATO member states, but was upgrading its nuclear potential as well," Antonov said.
"The United States’ conducting such tests cannot be considered as a step capable of producing a positive effect on the international situation. Irresponsible actions of that sort cannot make the world a safer place. They send a wrong and alarming signal to the international community. It is especially important to keep in mind now that May Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) yielded so ambiguous results," the Russian defence official stressed.