The United States (US) government claims to have been notified by Russia regarding the country's plans to carry out its annual nuclear drills. According to Washington, this "lowers the risk of nuclear war" as the rhetoric comes from the Kremlin.
The US has said it expects Russia to conduct a missile test launch during its strategic nuclear force exercise called Grom. This is in accordance with the habit of the White Bear Country in the past, namely firing inter-continental ballistic missiles.
"Under the New START (US-Russia nuclear deal) Agreement, Russia is obligated to provide advance notice of such missile launches," US officials said.
The US has been notified, and, as we have highlighted previously, this is a routine annual exercise by Russia," Air Force Spokesperson Brigadier General Patrick Ryder told a news conference.
Russia on Tuesday also brought accusations to the UN Security Council that Ukraine was preparing to use a "dirty bomb" on its own territory. This statement was roundly rejected by Western and Ukrainian officials who called it misinformation and a pretext for escalating war.
Western officials have expressed confidence in their ability to discern the difference between the Russian exercises and any move by Putin to address his nuclear threat. US State Department Spokesperson, Ned Prince, stressed the importance of compliance in giving notifications.
"While Russia engages in unprovoked aggression and reckless nuclear rhetoric, these notification steps ensure we are not taken by surprise and reduce the risk of misperceptions," Price said.