MOSCOW (AFP) - Moscow on Saturday (Feb 3) denounced the "bellicose" and "anti-Russian" nature of new US nuclear policy, warning it would take necessary measures to ensure its own security.
"The bellicose and anti-Russian nature of this document is obvious," the foreign ministry said in a statement, adding that it was "deeply disappointed".
The Pentagon on Friday revealed plans to revamp its nuclear arsenal, largely in response to Russian actions in recent years.
The so-called Nuclear Posture Review, released on Friday, outlines the Pentagon's nuclear ambitions under President Donald Trump and is the first time since 2010 that the military has spelled out how it foresees nuclear threats in the coming decades.
While the document underscores the administration's concerns about North Korea, Iran and China, the focus falls largely on Russia.
"This is a response to Russian expansion of their capability and the nature of their strategy and doctrine," Defence Secretary James Mattis wrote in the introduction to the 75-page document.
"These developments, coupled with Russia's seizure of Crimea and nuclear threats against our allies, mark Moscow's decided return to Great Power competition," he also wrote.
The Pentagon worries Russia assumes America's regular, large-yield weapons are essentially too big to ever be detonated, as their use would likely result in large-scale retaliation and wipe much of humanity off the map.
"There are strong indications that our current strategy posture and capabilities are perceived by the Russians as potentially inadequate to deter them," Mr Greg Weaver, the deputy director of strategic capabilities for the military's Joint Staff, told reporters.
"The US and Nato require a wider range of credible low-yield nuclear options to do a very specific thing: to convince the Russian leadership that if they initiate limited nuclear use, in a war with the alliance, our response will deny them the objective they seek and impose costs that far outweigh those benefits they can achieve," he added.
The document, an earlier version of which was leaked last month, says that by having more, smaller nukes the Pentagon can counter adversaries' "misperceptions" that the United States would not respond to another country using its own low-yield bomb.