WASHINGTON, December 9. /TASS/. Russia, as a nuclear power, takes seriously its responsibility to maintain stability and security and prevent conflicts, Russian envoy to Washington Anatoly Antonov told the Newsweek magazine.
"Russia takes seriously its special responsibility as a leading nuclear power to maintain global security and stability and prevent armed conflicts, especially nuclear ones," the embassy’s Telegram channel quoted the duplomat as saying on Friday.
US reporters asked Antonov to comment on Russian President Vladimir Putin's words about the nuclear conflict. In his speech on Wednesday at a meeting with members of the Council for the Development of Civil Society and Human Rights, Putin said that the danger of a nuclear war was increasing - "needless to say" - but that Russia was "not going to swing this (nuclear - TASS) weapon around like a razor, and views it only as a deterrent."
The Russian envoy said in this connection that "the [US] administration is using Russian warnings as a mere excuse to criticize, without listening to the substance of our arguments."
"But to break it down, what is so unreasonable about the president's words? He reminded us of the immutable fact—that Russia will defend itself and protect its allies with all available means, if necessary. Is the US position any different? We are not deploying—as the US does—our nuclear weapons on the territories of non-nuclear weapon states," Antonov noted.
He also said that Russia's statements about the danger of escalation of the conflict between the nuclear powers "are not 'nuclear saber-rattling’." "This is classic deterrence in extreme geopolitical circumstances. It works. It is in the world's best interest that it continues to work, preventing a potential nuclear catastrophe. Rather than aggravating the situation with baseless accusations, Washington would do well to consider whether its course of escalating confrontation with Russia is consistent with America's international commitments," the Russian envoy stressed.