The UK is willing to consider adopting US intermediate-range weapons in response to “worrying signs” of increasing Russian military activity.
Foreign secretary Philip Hammond told the BBC's Andrew Marr show there was “no clear sign” of an imminent attack on Ukraine but Vladimir Putin “has not ruled out a military option”.
“As we go into the G7 meeting and then to the European Council later this month renewing sanctions, we have got to send very clear signals to the Russians that we will not tolerate any breach of their obligations under Minsk,” he said.
If they are brought to Britain, it could bring about a return to a Cold War-era arms race between Russia and the West. Hammond said “unnecessary provocations” against Russia should be avoided, as this creates a “sense of being surrounded and under attack”.
“I think it is right to be concerned about the way the Russians are developing what they call asymmetric warfare doctrine.”
But if the nuclear missiles are brought to Britain, it could bring about a return to a Cold War-era arms race between Russia and the West. Hammond warned against “unnecessary provocations” towards Russia, as these create a “sense of being surrounded and under attack”.
There are thought to be around 225 thermonuclear warheads currently in the UK, 156 of which are in operation. The exact number has not been confirmed.