President of the National Research Center “Kurchatov Institute” and friend of Vladimir Putin, Mikhail Kovalchuk, proposed testing nuclear weapons on Novaya Zemlya in order to “scare the West.” RIA Novosti reports this.
According to Kovalchuk, the West’s actions towards Russia are becoming “increasingly aggressive,” so many experts propose “adjusting the fundamentals of state policy in this area.”
He recalled that in 1961, the USSR, in response to the aggressive rhetoric of the United States, tested the most powerful thermonuclear bomb in history with a yield of more than 50 megatons, “after which the Americans immediately began to negotiate, instantly.”
“The situation is exactly the same now. It’s enough to carry out tests on Novaya Zemlya… At least once. And everything will fall into place,” Kovalchuk added.
In February of this year, Vladimir Putin, in a message to the Federal Assembly, instructed to ensure that the test site on Novaya Zemlya is ready to test Russian nuclear weapons if the United States conducts it first. He also announced that Russia was suspending its participation in the Strategic Arms Treaty (START).
In turn, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called Russia’s decision to suspend participation in the New START Treaty “deeply regrettable and irresponsible.”
“The United States will be closely monitoring what Russia actually does. We will, of course, make sure that in any case we take the appropriate position for the security of our own country and the security of our allies,” he stressed, adding that Washington “remains ready to discuss the issue of arms limitation with Russia at any time.”
The last agreement between Russia and the United States on measures to further reduce and limit strategic offensive weapons was signed in 2010.
The treaty stipulates that Russia and the United States will reduce the number of deployed nuclear warheads to 1,550 units, intercontinental ballistic missiles, submarine-launched ballistic missiles and heavy bombers to 700 units.