Russia’s Defense Minister said on Tuesday US strategic bombers practiced using nuclear weapons against Russia this month, state news agency TASS reported.
“We are witnessing a considerable increase in the US strategic bombers’ activity near the Russian borders. Over the past month, they conducted about 30 flights to the borders of the Russian Federation, or 2.5 times more compared to the same period of last year,” Sergey Shoigu added.
“This month, in the course of the US Strategic Command’s Global Thunder exercise, 10 strategic bombers practiced employing nuclear weapons against Russia actually simultaneously from the western and eastern directions.”
Shoigu added that the US bombers were 20 kilometers from Russia’s borders.
The Russian Defense Minister was speaking during talks with his Chinese counterpart Wei Fenghe.
Shoigu stressed that cooperation between Russia and China was of greater importance now more than ever amid “intensifying geopolitical turbulence and the growing conflict potential in various regions of the world.”
Russia-US ties have worsened since President Joe Biden’s administration slapped Moscow with sanctions for interfering in the 2020 US presidential election and for involvement in the hacking of American federal agencies. Moscow denies the accusations.
The US also ordered 10 Russian diplomats expelled and imposed new curbs on Russia’s ability to borrow money. Moscow responded with expelling 10 US diplomats, blacklisting former and current US officials, as well as imposing restrictions on the US embassy in Russia.
The tensions have heightened recently, with Russia amassing troops near its border with Ukraine, a move Kiev says is pretext for Moscow’s intention to invade.