The risk of a nuclear war has risen significantly in recent years because of the US unwillingness to reaffirm its impossibility, the Russian foreign minister said on Friday.
"We are particularly concerned about the two-year-old refusal of the Americans to reassert the fundamental principle, the postulate that there can be no winners in a nuclear war, and, accordingly, it can never be unleashed," Sergey Lavrov said during his speech at the video conference of Primakov Readings Forum in Moscow.
He argued that Washington is destroying the international arms control mechanism to have "hands free in choosing means of pressure, including force, at any point of the globe -- don't matter what the price is" with the ultimate goal of getting the global dominance and win "in what they call the rivalry of major powers."
"This is particularly disturbing against the background of doctrinal shifts in the attitudes of the American political leadership, which now allow limited use of nuclear weapons," Lavrov said.
Washington takes practical steps to support the doctrinal shifts, developing and increasing the low-yield nuclear arsenal, he added.
Lavrov said the US used "Russian threat" to make necessary amendments, saying Russia has a secret part of its military doctrine, which the minister denied.
For Moscow's requests to reaffirm the impossibility of a nuclear war, handed in written, Washington responds that it is still examining the document, but by their comment the Russian side perceive that it would like to weaken the categoricalness of this axiom, he said.
In the recent years, the US called off its sign under a number of arms control treaties, including the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces, Open Skies, Anti-Ballistic Missile treaties, considered as pillars of international security.
The last existing agreement -- Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty -- will expire in 2021 and Lavrov predicts that the US will not agree to expand it.