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Russia pledges counter measures if U.S. upgrades nuclear arms in Germany

Russian President Vladimir Putin arrives to deliver his speech during an opening ceremony of the MAKS International Aviation and Space Salon in Zhukovsky, outside Moscow, Russia, August 25, 2015. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia would be forced to take counter measures to restore the balance of power in Europe if media reports that the United States plans to upgrade its nuclear presence in Germany are true, President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman said on Wednesday.

The spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, was commenting after Germany’s ZDF TV Channel reported that the United States intended to place 20 B61-12 nuclear bombs at the Büchel Air Base later this year.

“This could alter the balance of power in Europe,” Peskov told reporters. “And without doubt it would demand that Russia take necessary counter measures to restore the strategic balance and parity.”

Reporting by Masha Tsvetkova and Katya Golubkova; Editing by Andrew Osborn