Russia Declares Right To Deploy Nukes In Crimea (And Maybe Has Already)
Russia has said that it has the right to deploy nuclear weapons to Crimea, a year after Vladimir Putin seized the territory from Ukraine following a referendum. Home to the strategic Black Sea port city of Sevastopol, which already housed Russia’s fleet before the Ukrainian crisis erupted at the start of 2014, Crimea is significantly nearer central Europe than any nuclear base Russia is thought to control. “I don't know if there are nuclear weapons there now,” a Russian foreign ministry official told the Interfax news agency on Wednesday.Not at all scary.
“I don't know about any plans, but in principle Russia can do it,” said Mikhail Ulyanov, who is the head of the ministry's department on arms control. The comments come at a highly sensitive time for international relations around the Black Sea, after Nato members Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey joined four other alliance states in a multinational naval exercise there on Tuesday. The US, Canada, Germany and Italy also took part in the military drills, including an American flagship, the guided missile cruiser USS Vicksburg. And it comes as Russia becomes increasingly bold in stating the details of how it took Crimea, an act still deemed illegal by most international bodies.