MOSCOW, March 18./TASS/. An increase in the UK’s nuclear arsenals runs counter to the commitment to pursuing the nuclear disarmament path," Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told a briefing on Thursday.
"London has given up on the earlier announced plans to cut its nuclear arsenal to 180 warheads, and is now talking about building it up by over 40%, to 260 nuclear warheads," the diplomat pointed out.
"This move is clearly at odds with numerous statements from London about adherence to the commitments to advance along the path of nuclear disarmament within the framework of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons," Zakharova stressed.
According to the spokeswoman, these decisions of the official London must be taken into account regarding the Russian-US strategic balance.
"This refers not only to the UK, but also to France which is also closely cooperating with Washington in the military nuclear sphere," she stressed. "The decision of the UK leadership emphasizes a long-felt need for involving American nuclear allies into efforts to reduce nuclear weapons, to which our country is pointing on a regular basis," Zakharova added.
According to her, Russia expects that the West’s three nuclear powers will show responsibility and urges them to give up on the rhetoric of threats and move on to practical cooperation. "Including with Russia with an aim to strengthen international security and strategic stability," the diplomat added.
On Tuesday, the UK authorities announced their intention to increase nuclear potential to 260 warheads. The recently-published Integrated Review of Security, Defense, Development and Foreign Policy underscores that the UK government makes this step due to "developing range of technological and doctrinal threats" from a number of states, which force London to react by strengthening its defensive capability.