Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said that the nuclear arsenals of France and the United Kingdom are effectively controlled by the United States. Peskov made this statement on Thursday, suggesting that any discussions on reducing nuclear potential between Russia and the United States should take into account this factor. According to a report from Sputnik, this revelation sheds light on the dynamics of nuclear power among these countries and raises questions about the extent of control and influence that the United States holds over the nuclear capabilities of its allies.
“From our point of view, of course, the nuclear arsenals of both France and the United Kingdom are de facto under the control of the United States, therefore, if we talk with the US, then talking without taking into account these two arsenals is absolutely meaningless,” Peskov said.
Peskov was responding to a recent statement from France. French Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Anne-Claire Legendre stated on Wednesday that France would only consider joining negotiations on strategic arms control if Russia and the United States first significantly reduce their nuclear arsenals to the level of France’s own arsenal. This statement highlights France’s stance on nuclear disarmament and underscores the complexities of international negotiations on this issue.
Meanwhile, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov also commented on a statement from Kyiv alleging that Russian President Vladimir Putin had not personally visited the special military operation zone earlier this week, but instead sent a double. Peskov described the statement as “very strange,” adding to the ongoing speculation and intrigue surrounding the situation in the region.
A look at nuclear programmes of UK and France
The United Kingdom and France are two of the nine countries recognised as possessing nuclear weapons under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). Both countries maintain their nuclear programs as a key component of their national security and defense strategies.
The United Kingdom, commonly referred to as a nuclear-weapon state (NWS), possesses a nuclear arsenal known as the ‘Trident nuclear weapons system.’ The Trident system consists of four Vanguard-class submarines armed with Trident II D5 submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs). Each missile is capable of carrying multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles (MIRVs), allowing for the delivery of multiple warheads to different targets. The Vanguard-class submarines serve as the United Kingdom’s sea-based nuclear deterrent, providing a continuous at-sea presence to ensure the country’s nuclear deterrence posture.
France, also recognised as a nuclear-weapon state (NWS), maintains its nuclear arsenal as an independent component of its national defense strategy. The French nuclear arsenal consists of submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) carried on its fleet of four Triomphant-class submarines. These submarines are armed with the M51 SLBM, which is capable of carrying multiple warheads and has an extended range. France also possesses land-based nuclear delivery systems, including the Mirage 2000N and Rafale F3 fighter aircraft, which are capable of carrying nuclear bombs.
Both the United Kingdom and France maintain a policy of nuclear deterrence, whereby their nuclear arsenals are seen as a deterrent against potential adversaries. They argue that possessing nuclear weapons serves as a deterrent to prevent nuclear attacks on their respective countries and provides a strategic advantage in maintaining national security.