MOSCOW, September 17. /TASS/. Declarations about the possibility of nuclear weapons use in an armed conflict, which are voiced more and more often by US officials, cause Russia’s concern and force it to respond adequately, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told Russia’s NTV channel.
"In all, those games with the possibility of using nuclear weapons in a conflict are becoming more and more alarming, maybe even threatening. We have to respond to that, including from the point of view of our own military planning," he said.
Ryabkov went on to say that this situation stemmed from policies fo the White House.
"The reasons for that can be found in irresponsible conduct of the US administration, which not just authorizes a limited use of nuclear weapons in this or that situation, but is also taking practical measures to that end, such as expanding the nuclear arsenal in its possession and creating small nuclear weapons which can only be viewed as a battlefield weapon," he said.
"Possibly, they expect to reach the stage of their technical, military and technological development when they can declare that their geopolitical rivals - first of all, Russia and China - will overstrain themselves from the economic point of view," Ryabkov said.
Commenting on his own words about a greater possibility of a nuclear war in the modern world, Ryabkov stressed that he meant only growing risks of such a conflict.
"My statement meant only a greater risk of a conflict with the use of nuclear weapons. I did not say that we are one step, or two steps, or one kilometer away [from it], I only said that risks of this conflict are now higher than they used to be," he said.
During the presentation of a report titled "A new understanding and ways of enhancing multilateral strategic stability" at TASS Moscow’s press center earlier this month, Ryabkov said that a nuclear conflict was possible under the present-day international situation, adding that this negative trend has become extremely noticeable in the past year. He said that his colleagues have been demonstrating more and more emotional - and sometimes even aggressive - conduct.