NATO's top military commander says that Russia's planned purchase of new missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads is not appropriate for a responsible nuclear power.
"This is not a way that responsible nuclear nations behave," U.S. Air Force General and NATO supreme allied commander Philip Breedlove said.
"A rhetoric which ratchets up tensions in a nuclear sense is not a responsible behavior and we seek and ask that these [nuclear] nations handle this particular type of weapon in a more responsible way," he added.
President Vladimir Putin said on June 16 that Russia would add more than 40 new intercontinental ballistic missiles to its nuclear arsenal this year.
The Russian leader also said he was not particularly worried about a U.S. plan to possibly station heavy weaponry in Eastern Europe.
But on June 17, the Kremlin said Russia did not want to enter a costly new arms race with the West, saying it would hurt the country’s economy.
"We are against any arms race because it naturally weakens our economic capabilities," presidential aide Yury Ushakov said on June 17. "In principle we are against it."