Politics, World

Russia calls NATO chief's nuclear weapons remarks 'escalation'

Kremlin spokesman says Moscow never initiates talks about nuclear weapons

Elena Teslova  | 17.06.2024 - Update : 17.06.2024
Russia calls NATO chief's nuclear weapons remarks 'escalation'

MOSCOW

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg's statement on putting the alliance's nuclear weapons on alert is yet another "escalation," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday.

Speaking at a news conference in Moscow, Peskov said Russia never initiates talks about nuclear weapons and its officials only respond to questions from journalists about such issues.

"When President Putin talks about this issue -- military nuclear affairs -- he answers someone's questions, questions from journalists, including foreign ones," he added.

Stoltenberg's statement contradicts even the position the West outlines at events such as the conference on Ukraine in Switzerland, the spokesman noted.

"What Mr. Stoltenberg said, clearly, does not fit into the context of the declaration that was adopted the day before (at the summit in Switzerland), which says, if I'm not mistaken, about the inadmissibility of such rhetoric," he emphasized.

Stoltenberg told Britain’s Telegraph newspaper that NATO countries consult on "how many nuclear warheads should be operational and which should be stored."

Commenting on results of the summit on Ukraine in Burgenstock, whose final declaration was not signed by certain countries including India and Saudi Arabia, Peskov said they "tend to zero."

The final statement called to address issues such as the protection of the Zaporizhzhia power plant, a renouncement of the use of nuclear weapons, grain exports, and exchange of prisoners.

He, however, asserted that Russia's peace proposal voiced by Putin last week remains in effect, and Moscow is open to constructive work, and serious, substantive discussions with all countries.

Commenting on Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba's remarks about the necessity to invite Russia to another summit on Ukraine's settlement, the spokesman said: "The approach of the Russian side is quite transparent and consistent, and everyone knows it well, including Mr. Kuleba."

Peskov said the support of a number of friendly countries for the final declaration of the summit will not affect their relations with Russia, but Moscow will take into account their position and continue explaining them its position.

Responding to Georgian political party Solidarity for Peace's call on Russia to fully cancel the visa regime between the two countries, Peskov said Russian authorities will consider the request.

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