The suggestion that more warheads should be put on standby is an example of double standards, Dmitry Peskov has said FILE PHOTO: The HMS Vigilant, one of the carriers of Britain’s Trident nuclear missile system. © Jeff J Mitchell / Getty Images

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg is fueling tensions with Russia with his revelation that the US-led military bloc is considering putting more nuclear weapons on standby, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said.

Consultations between member nations on moving some warheads from stockpile to combat readiness are ongoing, the NATO chief told The Telegraph on Sunday. He said the bloc may soon “face something that it has never faced before, and that is two nuclear-powered potential adversaries – China and Russia” and therefore needs to send the foes a message.

Peskov on Monday suggested that Stoltenberg was using a double standard, since the NATO chief had previously accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of “nuclear saber rattling” for mentioning his country’s nuclear arsenal publicly. However, Putin “does not make such remarks on his own volition,” but only when asked directly by journalists, his press secretary claimed.

NATO in talks to put more nuclear weapons on standby – Stoltenberg NATO in talks to put more nuclear weapons on standby – Stoltenberg

Stoltenberg’s remarks also seem to clash with the joint declaration signed this past weekend at the so-called “peace summit” convened in Switzerland on Kiev’s behalf, Peskov added. He said: “This is nothing but the latest move to fuel tensions.” The document emerging from the gathering states that “any threat or use of nuclear weapons in the context of the ongoing war against Ukraine is inadmissible.”

Putin addressed the issue during a meeting with foreign media earlier this month. He said he believed nuclear-armed nations should abstain from issuing nuclear threats, but said that Western nations delude themselves if they expect Russia not to follow its own nuclear doctrine.

“If someone’s actions pose a threat to our sovereignty and territorial integrity, we consider ourselves in the right to use all means at our disposal,” he said. “This issue must not be treated lightly.”

Stoltenberg claimed that NATO’s aim is “a world without nuclear weapons” but said the current status will not change “because a world where Russia, China and North Korea have nuclear weapons, and NATO does not, is a more dangerous world.” (RT)