Russia warns of ‘escalation’ if America returns its nukes to British bases
- The warning comes after signs the US may put nukes in Britain again
- American nukes have not been on British soil for 15 years
- Russia said it would treat this as an ‘escalation’ that should be avoided
Russia has warned that it will view the US returning its nuclear weapons to British military sites as an escalation.
The stark warning comes after it was reported that the US Air Force has secured $50 million (£39 million) in funding for a military project that could see American nukes on British soil for the first time in 15 years.
‘If this step is ever made, we will view it as escalation, as a step toward escalation that would take things to a direction that is quite opposite to addressing the pressing issue of pulling all nuclear weapons out of European countries,’ Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova warned at a briefing on Tuesday.
She added that the Kremlin would be forced to take countermeasures to ‘safeguard security interests of our country and its allies,’ though did not specify what these countermeasures would be.
Following a Congressional decision last week, RAF Lakenheath, roughly 60 miles northeast of London, is set to receive millions to build a 144-bed dormitory, which the US Air Force said will ‘house the increase in enlisted personnel as the result of the potential surety mission.’
Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova (pictured) made the stark warning at a briefing on Tuesday
RAF Lakenheath is set to have a 144-person dormitory for US military personnel stationed in the UK for a ‘potential surety mission’, which experts say is a euphemism for nuclear weapons safety
According to the Federation of American Scientists, a global policy thinktank, the phrase ‘surety mission’ is a euphemism for the military’s ability to keep nuclear weapons ‘safe, secure and under positive control.’
The US withdrew its nuclear weapons from British soil in 2008, after they were first deployed here in 1954.
The 100-or-so warheads were kept at RAF Lakenheath, the same base that will now be extended to support US personnel from February 2026, when the new dormitories are expected to be completed.
The thinktank previously reported that the Pentagon added the UK to its 2023 budget, claiming it had helped Britain, as well as other countries including Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey, by investing $384 million in infrastructure for the storage of ‘special weapons’ over 13 years.
The phrase ‘special weapons’ is a euphemism for nuclear weapons.
Though Britain is one of just five countries that are considered ‘nuclear-weapon states’, the Trident nuclear submarine programme has been its only operational nuclear weapons system since 1998.
The exact locations of any of the four Vanguard-class submarines that carries the UK’s nuclear arsenal is secret.
MailOnline has contacted the US Department of Defence and the UK’s Ministry of Defence for comment.