November 14, 2020
A US State Department official has issued a warning over Russia’s nuclear deterrent, saying the unmanned submarine drones equipped with warheads are capable of causing tsunamis.
Christopher Ford, the assistant secretary of state for international security and nonproliferation, made the claims during a virtual conference on nuclear weapons and international law.
He told viewers Washington has “reasons to be concerned about Russian policy.” Ford doubts that Moscow, which says its nuclear arsenal exists only for defense purposes, would use it “proportionally” in the case of a conflict.
“The Russians have suggested that they might respond with the all-out use of nuclear weapons if they see even a single incoming ballistic missile,” Ford warned.
He also expressed concern over Moscow’s development of Poseidon, an unmanned underwater submersible that could potentially be equipped with both conventional and nuclear weapons.
Another disturbing sign comes with Russia’s development of the Poseidon nuclear powered underwater drones that it apparently intends to fit with multi-megaton nuclear warheads and launch across the ocean in wartime in order to inundate U.S. coastal cities with radioactive tsunamis.
He went on to say that such a concept raises “serious questions” whether it could be used in accordance with international law.
The Poseidon, previously known by its code name ‘Status-6’, was announced by Russian President Vladimir Putin in March 2018 as a part of a group of nuclear weapons meant to counter the US nuclear threat.
While both Washington and Moscow’s nuclear stockpiles have been reduced since the height of the Cold War, disarmament faced a setback in recent years. The countries are still in discussion regarding the current nuclear arms reduction treaty, known as ‘New START’, that is due to expire in February. Previously, President Putin proposed extending it for a year, without adding any extra conditions.