Russia’s NATO Envoy Denies Suggestions of Simulated Nuclear Strikes

© Sputnik / Alexander Vilf / Go to the mediabankAlexander Grushko
Alexander Grushko - Sputnik International
Russia did not simulate nuclear attacks on other countries as part of training exercises, Russian envoy to NATO Alexander Grushko said in an interview with US media published Sunday.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – According to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg’s report released on January 28, over the past three years Russia has conducted at least 18 large-scale snap exercises, some of which included simulated nuclear attacks on NATO Allies, including Sweden.

"All these stories about so-called imitations of nuclear attacks on other states, they do not correspond to reality…Sweden is not a nuclear state and in accordance with the treaty and this country fully enjoys negative guarantees," Grushko told The Wall Street Journal.

Russian forces conducted "absolutely transparent" drills to "test the viability" of their nuclear capability, Grusho stressed.

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"Our strategy is very clear. It says nukes can be used when there is a threat to the very existence of the state," he added. "It is well known we drastically reduced our strategic forces and nukes. And also reduced the number of sub-strategic nukes and deployed them in special depots."

Russia adheres to so-called negative security assurances stipulating that nuclear powers will never use nuclear arms against non-nuclear states that have no relevant contractual relationship with the nuclear states.

Alexander Grushko also said Russia is ready to cooperate with NATO on global challenges.

"We believe that there is room for NATO and Russia to jointly concentrate on real security challenges like terrorism, like Afghanistan, like local and regional instability. We are prepared to continue our cooperation in different situations," Grushko told The Wall Street Journal.

Grushko stressed that the US-led western military alliance "should stop perceiving Russia as an aggressive state and stop military preparations with this misperception."

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has repeatedly called for a reinforced military presence in Eastern Europe in response to what he and the West claim to be a Russian threat.

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