News ID: 320362
Published: 0243 GMT March 01, 2022

Lavrov: US nukes in Europe unacceptable for Russia

Lavrov: US nukes in Europe unacceptable for Russia

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday that Moscow found it unacceptable that some European countries hosted US nuclear weapons and were taking measures to prevent Ukraine from acquiring similar weapons.

"It is unacceptable for us that, contrary to the fundamental principles of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, US nuclear weapons are still present on the territory of some European countries," Lavrov said while addressing the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva via a video call, Sputnik reported.

"It is high time the US nuclear weapons return home, and the infrastructure in Europe related to them be completely dismantled," he said.

The minister warned against a new round of arms race and called on the United States and its allies to join a moratorium on the deployment of short- and intermediate-range missiles in Europe.

Lavrov also criticized the practice of the so called "joint nuclear missions" that involve non-nuclear NATO members, and which he said include scenarios where nuclear weapons are used against Russia.

He told the disarmament meeting that Ukraine had been seeking to acquire nuclear weapons, a "real danger" that needed a Russian response.

"Today the dangers that (Ukrainian President Volodymyr) Zelenskiy's regime pose for neighboring countries and international security in general have increased substantially after the authorities set up in Kyiv have embarked upon dangerous games related to plans to acquire their own nuclear weapons," he said.

"Ukraine still has Soviet nuclear technologies and the means of delivery of such weapons. We cannot fail to respond to this real danger," he said.


Aim of Ukraine op

Meanwhile, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Tuesday that Russian forces would continue their military mission in Ukraine until removing a Western "military threat” and reaching declared aims of “demilitarizing and denazifying” the country.

"The main thing for us is to protect the Russian Federation from the military threat posed by Western countries, which are trying to use the Ukrainian people in their own battle against our country," Shoigu told a briefing.

He added that the Russian military was not out to "occupy" Ukrainian territory.

Russia began a large-scale military operation in Ukraine on February 24, after receiving a request for assistance from the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics, two regions in eastern Ukraine that broke away in 2014.  

Officials from Russia and Ukraine held peace talks on Monday and delegations returned from the site of the negotiations in Belarus to their capitals for consultations before a second round.

Russia’s Defense Ministry said Tuesday that Russian troops would carry out an attack on the infrastructure of Ukraine's intelligence services in Kyiv and urged residents living nearby to leave, AFP reported.

"In order to suppress information attacks on Russia, the technological infrastructure of the SBU (Ukraine's Security Service) and the 72nd main PSO (Psychological Operations Unit) center in Kyiv will be hit with high-precision weapons," Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said.

"We call on... Kyiv residents living near relay nodes to leave their homes," Konashenkov added.



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