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Russian MP warns new US nuclear doctrine heightens arms race risk

According to Leonid Slutsky, the new US nuclear doctrine is another product of American hegemons
Chairman of Russia’s State Duma Foreign Affairs Committee Leonid Slutsky Anna Isakowa/TASS
Chairman of Russia’s State Duma Foreign Affairs Committee Leonid Slutsky
© Anna Isakowa/TASS

MOSCOW, February 4. /TASS/. Chairman of Russia’s State Duma (lower house) Foreign Affairs Committee Leonid Slutsky has described the new US nuclear doctrine as very dangerous.

"In actual fact, the new doctrine is very dangerous from the point of view of violating nuclear deterrence principles. According to experts, the promulgated provisions that allow the use of nuclear weapons as a means of fighting the enemy rather than a means of mass destruction can provoke a spiral in the arms race in the world," Slutsky told reporters on Saturday. In his view, "now other countries can too begin to amend their doctrines." "The US strategy to develop compact nuclear warheads, which are easy to use, reduces the obstacles for their use and, thereby, increases the threat of a nuclear war, including in the presence of such factor as North Korea," the lawmaker added.

According to Slutsky, "the new US nuclear doctrine is another product of American hegemons." "Its development is again justified by a threat allegedly emanating mainly from Russia. Totally unfounded and unsubstantiated accusations of non-compliance with our obligations in nuclear disarmament are again being put forward," he noted.

The senior Russian lawmaker also pointed out that "the statements that the doctrine currently gives an opportunity to American diplomats to speak from a position of strength are also very provocative leading only to the exacerbation of confrontation." "On the contrary, we need to continue the dialogue, constructive and equitable dialogue to raise relations between the two biggest nuclear powers from the historical low," he concluded.

On Friday, the Pentagon released an updated Nuclear Posture Review, the sweeping review of the United States’ nuclear arms policy. In particular, it says that the US "has formal extended deterrence commitments that assure" more than 30 allies. On January 27, 2017, US President Donald Trump issued an order to update the US nuclear policies. The previous doctrine was approved in 2010 by then President Barack Obama. The Pentagon said that nuclear weapons are likely to be employed in case of attack on the United States "that may not come in the form of nuclear weapons."

The Russian Foreign Ministry pointed out that the eagerness to resort to nuclear weapons declared by the United States in order to discourage Russia’s employment of its nuclear arsenal "means an attempt to cast doubt on Russia’s right to self-defense in repelling any aggression in situations critical for the state’s existence.".