Russia's plans to make new ballistic missiles operational do not violate strategic offensive weapons treaty - diplomat

Russia's plans to make 40 new ballistic missiles operational in 2015 comply with planned modernization of the Russian strategic nuclear forces.

Russia's plans to make 40 new ballistic missiles operational in 2015 comply with planned modernization of the Russian strategic nuclear forces and do not violate the treaty on strategic offensive weapons, Russian Foreign Ministry Nonproliferation and Arms Control Department Director Mikhail Ulyanov said in an interview with Interfax.

The diplomat described a reaction of some Western officials to Russian President Vladimir Putin's recent remarks on plans to make new ballistic missiles operational in 2015 as "inadequate."

"This was interpreted almost as nuclear blackmail. In fact, as I understand it, the matter concerns planned modernization of the Russian strategic nuclear forces, which is fully in compliance with our obligations under the treaty on strategic offensive weapons. The United States also pursues analogous modernization, and its plans in this field extend at least to three quarters of the current century," Ulyanov said.

"Among others, American tactical nuclear weapons in Europe have also been modernized. But those who make noise about the Russian nuclear threat prefer not to notice this. Double standards, as always," he said.

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