Russia is preparing to deploy nuclear weapons to Syria in response to the US threat of imposing sanctions over Moscow crossing “red lines.”
According to senior Russian lawmaker Vladimir Gutenev, Russia is ready to draw its own red lines and defend its presence in the war-torn country with the full force of its military.
Express.co.uk reports: Among such measures, the official said the deployment of Russian tactical nukes in countries such as Syria, the use of gold-linked cryptocurrencies for Russian arms exports and the suspension of a number of treaties with the US – such as non-proliferation of missile technologies.
Mr Gutenev said: “I believe that now Russia has to draw its own ‘red lines.’
“The time has come to ponder on variants of asymmetric response to the US, which are now being suggested by experts and are intended not only to offset their sanctions but also to do some retaliatory damage.
“It’s no secret that serious pressure is being put on Russia, and it will only get worse.
“It is intended to deal a blow to defence cooperation, including defence exports.”
The minister added that Russia should follow the advice of “experts” and follow the US’ example of deploying nuclear weapons in other countries.
He added: “We should follow the advice of certain experts, who say that Russia should possibly suspend the implementation of treaties on non-proliferation of missile technologies, and also follow the US example and start deploying our tactical nuclear weapons in foreign countries.
“It is possible that Syria, where we have a well-protected airbase, may become one of those countries.”
Commenting on sanctions already in place, Mr Gutenev said they are unlikely to do serious damage to Russia’s defence industry.
He continued: “The import substitution program has produced very good results, alternative suppliers have been found.
“However, we are concerned about the fact that the sanctions are still gaining momentum and have become somewhat imminent.”
The US hit Russia with a fresh batch of sanctions on August 22 over its alleged involvement in the poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury.
Sergei and his daughter Yulia were found unconscious on a bench near the Maltings shopping centre in Salisbury.
The Department of State claims Russia breached the Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act, 1992.