MOSCOW, March 24 (UPI) -- Russia increased tension over NATO nuclear missiles Tuesday with a demand that the United States remove all non-strategic nuclear weapons from Europe.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich referred to comments by Jen Psaki, his counterpart at the U.S. State Department, that U.S. missiles are under constant U.S. control, as distorted. He added that deployment of U.S. missiles in European NATO countries is a violation of the 1968 Treaty on Nuclear Weapons Non-Proliferation.
Lukashevich's remarks came after tensions, already ratcheted upward by Russia's contention that it could place nuclear weapons in Crimea, increased over the weekend with the suggestion by a Russian diplomat that the Danish Navy's inclusion of radar on one ship, to involve it in NATO's missile shield, could make Denmark a nuclear target.
"If this happens, Danish warships become targets for Russian nuclear missiles," Russian Ambassador Mikhail Vanin wrote in the Danish newspaper Jyllands Posten on Sunday.
Danish Foreign Affairs minister Martin Lidegard called Vanin's comments "unacceptable," adding, "Russia knows full well that NATO's missile defense is defensive and not targeted at them."