The United States' recent nuclear bomb test is a provocation, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said Monday.
"The actions of the US side in the current situation are openly provocative, and are contrary to Washington's stated desire for complete nuclear disarmament," Antonov told reporters.
"In particular, the test was carried out using a F-15E fighter-bomber. This leads to believe that the test was carried out in order to examine the possibility of using the B61-12 nuclear bomb with NATO fighter-bombers stationed in Europe," the deputy minister said.
The United States uses tales about the imaginary "Russian threat" to increase NATO’s military potential near Russian borders and to justify upgrading of its nuclear arsenal, Anatoly Antonov said.
"They [the tests] confirmed the US intention to maintain deployed nuclear weapons in Europe that can reach Russian territory, and to maximize their combat effectiveness. We see this as an evidence of a persistent reluctance of the United States to reconsider the participation of non-nuclear NATO members in the joint nuclear missions that are in direct conflict with the obligations taken under the NPT [the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons]."
"Under the guise of the infamous and fictitious threat from the Russian side, the United States are not only building up its military capacity and the presence of NATO near the western borders of the Russian Federation, but also are modernizing its nuclear arsenal," Antonov added.