Lavrov: US Nuclear Weapons in Europe are Unacceptable for Russia, Time to Return Them Home
09:45 GMT 01.03.2022 (Updated: 11:06 GMT 01.03.2022)
Lavrov also warned that Russia does everything it can to prevent Ukraine from acquiring nuclear weapons.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has declared that the presence of US nuclear weapons in Europe is simply unacceptable for Moscow.
In the current situation, Lavrov argued, it is important to prevent a new round of the arms race, and said that Russia calls upon the United States and its allies to join a moratorium on the deployment of short- and intermediate-range missiles in Europe.
"It is unacceptable for us that, contrary to the fundamental principles of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, US nuclear weapons are still present on the territory of some European countries," he said while addressing the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva via a video call.
Lavrov also criticised the practice of the so called "joint nuclear missions" that involve non-nuclear NATO members, and which he said include scenarios where nuclear weapons are used against Russia.
"It is high time the US nuclear weapons are return home, and the infrastructure in Europe related to them be completely dismantled," he said.
Lavrov also warned that Russia is doing everything it can to prevent Ukraine from acquiring nuclear weapons.
He argued that Kiev's statements about procuring nuclear weapons are not just empty bravado as Ukraine has Soviet nuclear technology and delivery systems
Also, Lavrov suggested that Western powers should refrain from creating military installations
in former Soviet states that are not members of NATO.
He also expressed hope that Ukraine will realise the seriousness of the current situation, and that it needs to show independence during the negotiations with Russia.
The Russian foreign minister did remark, however, that the "neo-Nazi government" in Kiev currently does not represent the entirety of Ukraine's people.