Moscow has condemned the recent test of the US В61-12 nuclear bomb, insisting that the move confirms Washington’s plans to sustain its Europe-based arsenal of nuclear arms capable of targeting Russia.
Slamming the US testing of its nuclear bomb as “irresponsible” and “openly provocative,” Russia’s Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov further suggested on Monday that the move is meant to complement Washington’s surging military activities across Europe.
"It turns out that under the disguise of a notorious and invented threat coming from the Russian side, the United States was not only increasing the military potential and activity of NATO member states, but was upgrading its nuclear potential as well," said Antonov (pictured below) as quoted in an RT report.
“The special feature of the conducted test was the fact that the F-15E fighter-bomber was used as a carrier for a nuclear weapon. This gives grounds to believe that the test was conducted in order to examine the possibility of using the B61-12 atomic bomb by NATO fighter-bombers stationed in Europe,” he added.
According to the report, the US Air Force and the country’s National Nuclear Security Administration tested the upgraded B61-12 nuclear bomb at the Tonopah Test Range in the western state of Nevada on July 1, using a safe version of the weapon that does not contain a nuclear warhead.
The testing was part of the US military plan to prolong the lifespan of the B61-12 atomic bomb, which has been maintained since the 1960s.
Meanwhile, Russia’s Security Council Secretary Nikolay Patrushev stated in June that NATO’s surging military campaign in Eastern Europe made it evident that the US missile shield was actually always intended against Russia and China.
Washington and Moscow have long been exchanging accusations over violations of major nuclear treaties for years.