MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Russia is capable of reacting swiftly to the possible deployment of nuclear weapons at the US and NATO bases in Eastern Europe and the Baltics in line with the recently issued US Nuclear Posture Review, Frants Klintsevich, first deputy chairman of the Russian upper house’s Committee on Defense and Security, told Sputnik Saturday.
“If the US aviation equipped with nuclear weapons is deployed at the [US] bases in Eastern Europe and NATO bases in the Baltics, at the former Soviet military airfields and airfields of the former Warsaw Pact countries, Russia will, of course, redirect everything [toward these targets] swiftly,” Klintsevich said.
Russia will be forced to protect itself from such possible threats, the lawmaker added.
According to the 2018 US Nuclear Posture Review, published on Friday, the country will maintain and enhance the capability to deploy nuclear bombers and dual-capable aircraft around the world, and it is committed to working with NATO to ensure the readiness and operational effectiveness of such aircraft based in Europe.
The United States will also incorporate nuclear capability onto the F-35 bombers, which would be used as a replacement for the current aging dual-capable aircraft.
Over the past years, the United States and NATO have been increasing their military build-up in Eastern Europe and Baltic countries, explaining such actions by the need to protect from alleged Russian aggression.
Moscow has repeatedly stated that Russia has never planned to attack any NATO member, with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov saying that NATO recognizes the fact, but uses it as a pretext to deploy more equipment and battalions next to Russian borders.