Russian Foreign Ministry: Russia ‘has right’ to deploy nuclear weapons in Crimea
The Russian Federation has the right to deploy nuclear weapons in the annexed Ukrainian territory of Crimea, Department Director for Nonproliferation and Arms Control of the Russian Foreign Ministry Mikhail Ulianov said at a press conference in Moscow on Wednesday, according to an UNIAN correspondent in Russia.
"For you, Crimea is a part of Ukraine, for me - it is a part of the Russian Federation, and as a Russian diplomat, I can say that Russia has the right to deploy nuclear weapons on its territory and in any region, if it considers it necessary," Ulianov said, when asked by an UNIAN correspondent whether the Russian Federation plans to deploy nuclear weapons in the Russian-annexed Ukrainian territory of Crimea.
However, Ulianov said that he did not know whether nuclear weapons had already been deployed in Crimea.
"I know nothing about the presence of nuclear weapons in the Crimea. And I know nothing about plans to place them there. But, in principle, we believe that we have such a right, though, of course, Kyiv thinks differently," Ulianov said.
NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe General Philip Breedlove said in December that Russia was deploying missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads in the Ukrainian territory of Crimea.
He said NATO cannot confirm there are nuclear warheads in this region, but the delivery systems for such weapons are already there.