BEIJING, October 14. /TASS/. NATO’s nuclear deterrence drills will escalate the Ukraine crisis and push Russia to conduct similar exercises, a Chinese strategic arms expert said on Friday.
"NATO's nuclear exercise would include NATO members simulating defending against nuclear weapons and carrying out nuclear strikes on nuclear powers, which will escalate the current situation in Ukraine and push Russia to take similar exercises. It may also start a nuclear arms race between NATO and Russia," China’s Global Times newspaper quoted Song Zhongping as saying.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced on October 11 that the military alliance intended to hold a long-planned nuclear deterrence exercise and that he did not believe that the drills should be cancelled over the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. The NATO chief said that the annual exercise Steadfast Noon would be held next week.