Russia dismissed criticism from President Joe Biden over Moscow’s plan to stage nuclear weapons in Belarus, saying Saturday the U.S. had deployed nukes in Europe for decades.
The comments from the Russian Embassy come after Moscow said Thursday that it would be moving forward with the first deployment of nuclear weapons since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said the weapons were already on the move.
Biden responded on Friday saying he had an “extremely negative” response to reports that Russia has pushed forward with the plan to deploy nukes in Belarus while the U.S. State Department also denounced the plan.
However, the Russian Embassy said the U.S. has no place to condemn the plan given its deployment of nuclear weapons in Europe, saying “before blaming others, Washington could use some introspection.”
“The United States has been for decades maintaining a large arsenal of its nuclear weapons in Europe,” the embassy said in a statement. “Together with its NATO allies it participates in nuclear sharing arrangements and trains for scenarios of nuclear weapons use against our country.”
The U.S. first deployed nuclear weapons in Britain in 1954 and such weapons have been staged in Western Europe since President Dwight Eisenhower authorized it as a countermeasure during the Cold War.
The Russian Embassy said its own nuclear plan was essential for national security amid the ongoing war with Ukraine.
“It is the sovereign right of Russia and Belarus to ensure their security by means we deem necessary amidst of a large-scale hybrid war unleashed by Washington against us,” Russia’s embassy said.
“The measures we undertake are fully consistent with our international legal obligations.”
With Post wires