The creation and possible deployment by the United States of low-yield nuclear weapons in order to ‘contain’ Russia may actually result in using nuclear weapons, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov told reporters.
The senior diplomat expressed concerns over the growing trend in the US, where the term "strategic stability" is used in a very loose way. He pointed out that strategic stability means that the emergence of preconditions for becoming the first to use nuclear weapons is unacceptable.
"The creation and possible deployment of low-yield and variable-yield nuclear weapons reflects an evolution in US military thought, which considers that the scenario of using nuclear weapons on the battlefield is acceptable," Ryabkov is quoted as saying by TASS.
According to the senior Russian diplomat, some Pentagon officials are still stuck on illusions that are over half a century old claiming that "a nuclear war may be limited and its escalation can be controlled."
"This is a deep-seated and highly dangerous misperception," Ryabkov stressed. "What is happening now only highlights the need to step up Russian-US dialogue on strategic stability issues, in which we will insist on considering all aspects of the US’ destabilizing actions."
Playing with fire
Moscow will continue speaking openly about its concerns, the high-ranking diplomat stressed. "This refers to disinformation that Washington is ready to use its cyber capabilities, for even carrying out an offensive operation," he said. "This is like playing with fire and is a very alarming trend."
"The Americans should get a better grip on reality, and come to the understanding that the deterrence factor works both ways and no one has invalidated it," he emphasized.
The deputy foreign minister also shed light on the fact that Russia has been long inviting its US counterparts to work on the issues of strategic stability and the inadmissibility of waging a nuclear war for political and diplomatic goals. "Unfortunately, these appeals do not find a proper response," he said. "But the new developments may still encourage certain ideas in a number of capitals, including US allies, which also need to think about to what an abyss international peace and security can pushed by those who are now playing with this kind of ideas."