Russia insists its nukes are secure
Russia insisted Friday its nuclear arsenal is secure, angrily rejecting US allegations that tens of thousands of aging Soviet weapons may not be fully accounted for.
The Foreign Ministry described US Defence Secretary Robert Gates' remarks on uncertainties about the old Soviet arsenal as being groundless "insinuations."
The ministry stressed that all nuclear weapons in Russia have been under reliable protection since the 1991 Soviet collapse despite the nation's economic turmoil.
"Despite all the difficulties our country faced in the beginning of the 1990s, standards of security and physical protection of Russian nuclear arsenals remained high," the ministry said in a statement. "There have been no 'leaks' of nuclear weapons."
The angry statement reflected a growing chill in Russia-US ties badly strained over US missile defence plans, Russia's war in Georgia in August and other issues.