Washington’s ongoing pressure on Moscow over the crisis in Ukraine has forced Russian officials to say that they have the right to have nuclear arms in Crimea, a political commentator says.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry official Mikhail Ulyanov said on Wednesday that Moscow has the right to deploy nuclear weapons in the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea.
"I don't know if there are nuclear weapons there now. I don't know about any plans, but in principle Russia can do it," Ulyanov, who is the head of the ministry's department on arms control, said.
Commenting on the remarks, Edward Corrigan told Press TV on Wednesday that “Russia is asserting its sovereignty over Ukraine.”
“I think it’s in response to American pressure on Russia, but also the movement of troops and the threat of moving military weapons into Ukraine and more direct intervention of the Americans and even NATO to Russia.”
He further said that Russia has the right to establish its sovereignty because of the strategic location of Crimea.
Corrigan went on to say that there have been NATO and American troops in Latvia, and there is a lot of brinkmanship with regard to Ukraine, adding that the Americans are “threatening to put lethal weapons into Ukraine and even send American troops there.”
“There is a very dangerous game,” he said.
Violence intensified last May after Ukraine’s mainly Russian-speaking regions of Donetsk and Lugansk held local referendums in which their residents voted overwhelmingly in favor of independence from Ukraine.
The US and NATO accuse Moscow of involvement in the turmoil in eastern Ukraine and have imposed a series of sanctions against Russian and pro-Russia figures. Moscow, however, rejects the accusation.