Great news: Russia asserts right to deploy nukes in Crimea

Great news: Russia asserts right to deploy nukes in Crimea

Russia’s envoy to the NATO alliance said on Friday that Moscow will bolster military forces in occupied Ukraine, and is not banned from deploying nuclear arms in Crimea.

“Everything that we do in Crimea fully complies with all obligations of the Russian Federation under international treaties. We do not violate anything, there are no prohibitions on us deploying certain weapons systems,” said Alexander Grushko, the envoy, when asked if nuclear arms would be placed in Crimea.

Grushko also declined to say whether nuclear arms currently are deployed inside the Ukrainian territory forcibly annexed by Russia in March 2014. He made the remarks in a video press conference from Moscow with reporters in Brussels, where NATO headquarters is located. …

A State Department official…said stationing nuclear arms in Crimea would “violate Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in breach of [Russia’s] obligations under the U.N. Charter, and to be inconsistent with Russia’s commitments under the Helsinki Final Act and the Budapest Memorandum.”

Congressional concerns about deployments of nuclear weapons in Crimea are outlined in the current defense authorization bill passed by the House this week. The bill would require the secretary of defense to notify Congress within seven days of Russia’s deployment of nuclear arms in Ukrainian territory and to outline a U.S. strategy in response.

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