SAN MARINO (Sputnik) - The threshold for the use of nuclear weapons is lowering due to the US actions and its new strategy, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko said Thursday commenting on earlier statements by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
"The threshold for the use of nuclear weapons is lowering as a result of the adoption of a new strategy in the United States, which actually erodes the line between a national conflict and a conflict with the use of nuclear weapons", Grushko told reporters.
At the Munich Security Conference in February Stoltenberg claimed that Russia's 9M729 (NATO reporting name SSC-8) missile systems "lower the threshold for the use of nuclear weapons in a conflict".
The US has repeatedly accused Russia of violating the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty by testing the missile at ranges banned by the agreement. Russia has refuted the accusations, insisting that the missile's maximum range of 480km is in line with the INF Treaty's requirements.