A senior Russian lawmaker has proposed that Moscow should place nuclear weapons in Cuba and other “friendly countries” near the United States, amid rising tensions over Ukraine.
Aleksey Zhuravlev, the first deputy chairman of the Russian parliamentary defense committee, made the suggestion on Saturday in response to reports that the U.S. is planning to deploy some of its own tactical nukes to Europe.
Zhuravlev dismissed the impact of the U.S. plan, noting that the U.K. already has its own nuclear arsenal and that the U.S. already has nuclear arms in other European countries. He argued that Russia should instead consider deploying nuclear weapons closer to the U.S. by placing them in “friendly countries like Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua.”
He added that Russia’s weapons systems are “very different” from those possessed during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, when the Soviet Union and the U.S. came close to a nuclear war over the placement of Soviet missiles in Cuba. He claimed that Russia’s hypersonic missiles, submarines and strategic aviation would be able to reach the U.S. faster and more effectively than the U.S. and NATO forces could target Russia.