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Nuclear arsenal

Russia unconcerned by China increasing nuclear arsenal capabilities, says Kremlin

Russia unconcerned by China increasing nuclear arsenal capabilities, says Kremlin
Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) and Chinese President Xi Jinping shake hands before their meeting as part of the 3rd Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, 18 October 2023. EPA-EFE/SERGEY GUNEEV /SPUTNIK/KREMLIN POOL MANDATORY CREDIT

MOSCOW, Oct 25 (Reuters) - The Kremlin said on Wednesday it was not concerned by China increasing the capabilities of its nuclear arsenal, stressing Moscow's "advanced strategic partnership" with Beijing and China's sovereign right to ensure its own security.

China has launched its first nuclear-powered guided missile submarines, according to the Pentagon’s latest report on China’s military, giving it land and sea attack options that were once the sole province of U.S. and Russian vessels.

This does not cause us concern, our relations are an advanced strategic partnership, we have the most advanced stage of political dialogue, economic interaction,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

“And in this case, China, which faces very serious challenges for its own security in the region, is taking steps that it considers appropriate.

“This is the absolute sovereign right of this country.”

Russia has forged even closer commercial, political and security ties with China, part of what they call a “no limits” partnership, since Moscow’s decision to send tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine in February 2022, triggering sweeping Western sanctions.

The Pentagon report, published on Oct. 20, marks the first apparent confirmation that modified submarines seen in Chinese shipyards over the last 18 months are Type 093B guided missile submarines.

Russia has been tweaking its own legislation on nuclear matters this month, with parliament on Wednesday completing the passage of a law that withdraws Moscow’s ratification of the global treaty banning nuclear weapons tests.

Russia says it will not resume nuclear testing unless Washington does, but arms control experts are concerned it may be inching towards a test that the West would perceive as a threatening escalation in the context of the Ukraine war.

(Reporting by Reuters; Writing by Alexander Marrow; Editing by Gareth Jones)

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