Russia has the right to deploy nuclear weapons in the Crimean peninsula, which it seized from Ukraine in March, a top Russian official said Monday.
"Crimea was not a non-nuclear zone in an international law sense but was part of Ukraine, a state which doesn't possess nuclear arms," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview with Interfax news agency. "Now Crimea has become part of a state which possesses such weapons in accordance with the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.
"In accordance with international law," he added, "Russia has every reason to dispose of its nuclear arsenal ... to suit its interests and international legal obligations." - Los Angeles Times