The United Kingdom is seriously considering to host again U.S. nuclear cruise missiles in the face of worsening Cold War relations with Russia.
Philip Hammond, British Foreign Secretary, said “worrying signs” over the increasingly hostile actions of the Russian military have prompted the Government to ponder hosting U.S. nuclear weapons again.
Speaking to the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, Hammond said that they didn’t see a “clear sign” yet that Russia will attack Ukraine. However, they believed the Russian president was “keeping his options open.”
But Hammond said he knows Russian President Vladimir Putin will not take lightly the placement of U.S. nuclear cruise missiles in the UK since Kremlin has a “sense of being under attack.”
He said both the U.S. and UK government have to take the side of caution because it would be unwise to make “unnecessary provocations” against Russia.
“We have got to send a clear signal to Russia that we will not allow them to transgress our red lines,” Hammond said. “At the same time, we have to recognise that the Russians do have a sense of being surrounded and under attack and we don’t want to make unnecessary provocations.”
The Independent, citing an unidentified Foreign Office spokesman, said Hammond’s declarations stemmed from the “hypothetical situation.” The UK has yet to receive a proposal along the matter. “But we would consider all applications on their merits.”
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the deployment of US nuclear missiles in Europe will not help solve the brewing tensions and in fact result to more distrust.
“Any type of activity in the forcible intensification [of the situation], of course, will not be in anyone’s interest. This topic obviously in of itself will hardly provide for an increase in the level of mutual trust or the balance of interests on the European continent,” Peskov told journalists.