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    US Lowering Threshold of Using Nukes Hinders Security - Russian Security Council

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The United States' decision to reduce the threshold for it to use nuclear weapons will surely have an impact on global security, and could even result in a military conflict, Assistant to Russia's Security Council Secretary Alexander Venediktov told Sputnik in an interview.

    "The US NPR makes it clear that the United States does not rule out the possibility to resort to the extremities for the retaliation. It is obvious that unjustified reduction of the threshold of the nuclear weapons use will influence the global security," Venediktov said.

    The Russian official added that within such an approach adopted by the United States, any mistake could result in a nuclear war.

    The day before, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that the US military was preparing the forces of European countries to use tactical nuclear weapons against Russia. The head of the Russian foreign ministry expressed hope that European citizens would be able to say a firm "no" to the deployment of US nuclear weapons on the territory of their countries.

    In February, the United States released the Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), in which Washington stressed the possibility of "considering the ultimate form of retaliation" in case of an attack against the United States.

    READ MORE: US Training European Military to Use Nuclear Weapons Against Russia — Russian FM

    The doctrine also envisages short-term plans to modify existing submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) warheads to provide a low-yield option pursue a modern nuclear-armed sea-launched cruise missile (SLCM) in the long run.

    The United States and Russia possess the majority of nuclear weapons in the world. The United States is still the only country that has used nuclear arms in a military conflict, dropping two atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945.

    On US Military Ambitions

    Venediktov noted that the US military budget was 10 times the size of Russia's spending on defense and was designed to ensure the victory of Washington in a large-scale military conflict.

    "As for the US military budget, it is bigger than that of Russia by more than 10 times and is aimed at the completion of the key task of national strategy — achieving the level of the armed forces' combat readiness and equipment that would allow them to secure a victory in a large-scale conflict," Venediktov said.

    At the same time, Russia supports and will continue to support direct dialogue with the United States.

    "We support and we will continue to support direct dialogue with the United States. Without doubt, its depth and productiveness will depend on the US side’s readiness for such contacts on an equal basis, taking each other’s interests into account," Venediktov said.

    According to a report of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), the 2017 military budget of the United States was the biggest in the world standing at over $602 billion, while the Russian defense budget was the fourth largest and stood at some $61 billion.

    In February, the White House released the budget proposal for the 2019 fiscal year, which included requests for over $680 billion in military funding, an $80 billion boost or a 13 percent increase over the previous year.

     

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