‘Dangerous and irresponsible’: NATO condemns Putin’s nuclear-arms plan

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NATO criticized Moscow on Sunday for its “dangerous and irresponsible” nuclear rhetoric after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced he would deploy tactical nuclear weapons to Belarus.

“NATO is vigilant, and we are closely monitoring the situation. We have not seen any changes in Russia’s nuclear posture that would lead us to adjust our own,” a NATO spokesperson said.

The official criticized comments from Putin on Saturday that likened the deployment of Russian nuclear weapons in Belarus to the U.S. stationing its nuclear arms in Europe as part of the NATO defense alliance, according to a report by Reuters.

“Russia’s reference to NATO’s nuclear sharing is totally misleading,” the official was quoted as saying. “NATO allies act with full respect of their international commitments,” the official said. “Russia has consistently broken its arms-control commitments, most recently suspending its participation in the New START Treaty.”

Also on Sunday, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry appealed for an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council in reaction to Putin’s announcement. This followed earlier condemnations of the Russian move by Ukrainian officials.

“Ukraine expects effective actions to counteract the Kremlin’s nuclear blackmail from the United Kingdom, China, the United States and France. … We demand that an extraordinary meeting of the UN Security Council be immediately convened for this purpose,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.