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    US B61-12 Program to Lower Threshold for Nuclear Weapons Use - Russia

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    The United States' B61-12 nuclear warhead life extension program will lower the threshold for the use of nuclear weapons, the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Department for Non-Proliferation and Arms Control said Wednesday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Mikhail Ulyanov underlined that while Russia will not be dragged into a new arms race amid such actions by the United States, it will "definitely" work to ensure its national security.

    "It is no coincidence that some American experts were quick to call the new warheads more 'ethical,' stating that their use would have less severe humanitarian consequences. But this is precisely why this is a bad thing. The characteristics of such weapons will objectively increase the temptation to use them. This will mean a substantial lowering of the threshold for using nuclear weapons," Ulyanov told RIA Novosti.

    According to the official, the US National Nuclear Security Administration's recent decision on the B61-12 will not have any noticeable consequences in the forthcoming years as the deployment of the new nuclear warheads will only begin in 2020.

    "That is when the negative impacts of the modernization will truly be felt," he said, adding that the renewal of US nuclear arsenal in Europe means a long-term extension of NATO's joint nuclear missions, which "flagrantly violate the spirit and contents of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons."

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    Tags:
    nuclear warheads, B61-12, US National Nuclear Security Administration, Mikhail Ulyanov, Russia, United States
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