Alwaght- Russia’s foreign minister has warned that the United States is preparing Europe to use tactical nuclear weapons against Russia.
Speaking at the UN Conference on Disarmament in Geneva on Wednesday, Lavrov accused Washington of storing nonstrategic nuclear arms in Europe and holding “joint nuclear missions” with non-nuclear countries there.
"Everyone understands that by doing this the U.S. military is preparing the military forces of European countries to use nuclear weapons against Russia,” he said in televised remarks.
"As we all know, these nuclear missions violate the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), and non-nuclear states plan and take part in the US exercises and learn how to use the nuclear weapons," he said.
"It should be clear to one and all that the US military thereby prepares the European countries for using tactical nuclear weapons against Russia," Lavrov added.
US aggressive stance
Besides prohibiting proliferation of nuclear arms, the NPT bans states from transferring nuclear weapons and other nuclear explosive devices, or their control, to other countries.
Lavrov said the US nuclear pileup in European countries was "not just a Cold War rudiment, but an outspokenly aggressive stance."
Recollecting America's record as the only country to ever use nuclear weapons, Lavrov called on European people to stop the trend.
"I hope that the European citizens will manage to say a firm ‘NO’ to the deployment in their territory of weapons of mass destruction that belong to a country that had already used them once against the population of Hiroshima and Nagasaki," Lavrov said.
Concern over US Nuclear strategy
The top Russian diplomat said Moscow remained committed to a joint denuclearization agreement that requires both sides to downsize their arsenals.
According to Lavrov, Russia has cut its arsenal down by more than 85 percent under the Treaty on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms compared to what it was at the height of the Cold War.
The treaty, which was signed in 2010 and entered into force a year later, stipulates reducing nuclear warheads to 1,550 while slashing strategic carriers such as submarines and aircraft to 700 units.
Lavrov then pointed to America's revised nuclear weapons policy under President Donald Trump and said it had raised concerns in Moscow and overshadowed the "impressive achievements" of both sides in implementing the joint treaty.
"Also, there are certain concerns over considerable changes in US approaches in the context of its revised nuclear strategy, which enhances the role of nuclear weapons in different ways, including the creation and deployment of low-yield warheads, thus lowering the threshold of using nuclear weapons," Lavrov said.
US violating NPT
The Russian Foreign Ministry has also complained about "joint nuclear missions" and said the US has many nuclear weapons located in Europe, adding that the US is training European countries to use these weapons.
Last April, the foreign ministry issued a statement in which it said that "Washington's approach to compliance with its obligations under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) is still of great concern. The US and its non-nuclear NATO allies continue their nuclear skill training as part of the so-called "nuclear sharing"," it said. "This is a serious violation of Articles I and II of the NPT," the ministry said.