The Kremlin said Wednesday it regretted the UK’s decision to increase its nuclear arsenal, after Britain unveiled plans to bolster its stockpile from 180 warheads to 260 by the end of the decade.
Britain on Tuesday published a document outlining a recalibration of its foreign policy that included the announcement to grow its nuclear arsenal, reversing a previous commitment to reduce its stockpile.
“We are very sorry that the UK has chosen this path of increasing nuclear warheads. This decision harms international stability and strategic security,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
“The presence of nuclear warheads is what threatens peace throughout the world,” he added.
The UK’s move is at odds with a recent agreement between Moscow and Washington.
In January, Russia agreed with the United States to extend a key nuclear pact between the two countries that was the last remaining arms reduction agreement between the former Cold War rivals.
Moscow has also pushed for Washington and Tehran to return to the Iran nuclear deal.
Signed in 2015, the accord offered sanctions relief in exchange for curbs on Tehran’s nuclear ambitions and guarantees it would not seek an atomic bomb.
However its signatories are scrambling to keep it alive after former US president Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from it in 2018 and reimposed sanctions on Iran.
Britain’s foreign policy document also identified Russia as the “most acute direct threat to the UK,” posing “the full spectrum” of dangers.
Peskov on Wednesday said that the UK had cited “an ephemeral threat” without “an explanation”.
“This is not true,” he added. “No threat comes from Russia.”
Moscow and London have seen their relations greatly deteriorate over the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal in the English town of Salisbury in 2018 with the Novichok nerve agent.
Russia’s relations with the West are at their lowest point since the Cold War, marred by allegations of election interference and sweeping cyberattacks.
UK has tried hard diplomatically and militarily to end 10-year Syria war: MinisterThe United Kingdom has worked very hard both diplomatically and militarily to try and bring an end to the war in Syria, the UK’s Minister of State for ... Middle East
UK wants positive China links but values come first: FM RaabForeign Secretary Dominic Raab said on Tuesday that Britain would like a positive relationship with China but not at the expense of upholding its ... World News
UK to create new counter-terrorism center, says chemical or nuclear attack likelyBritain said on Tuesday it would create a new homeland security headquarters as part of plans to improve its response to the “major threat” from ... World News
EU files lawsuit against UK for Brexit deal delaysThe European Union said Monday it is starting legal action against the United Kingdom, arguing it does not respect the conditions of the Brexit ... World News