The United States may be using a “climate weapon” to cause an unseasonably warm winter in Russia, a lawmaker has claimed in an interview with the Govorit Moskva radio station Tuesday.
Weather experts say the anomaly in Moscow and parts of Russia this winter was caused by an atmospheric front from the Atlantic Ocean.
“I’m convinced these are not random changes in the climate,” Alexei Zhuravlyov, a member of Russia’s lower house of parliament, the State Duma, told Govorit Moskva.
“If [Russia's permafrost] melts now, it will be a disaster. ... The Americans know this and they’re testing this weapon,” the leader of the nationalist Rodina party said, alleging that the U.S. tests are in violation of international bans.
Zhuravlyov, 57, previously blamed last summer’s Siberian forest fires and Moscow storms on U.S. “climate weapons.”
The theory that the U.S. deploys climate-change weapons against Russia dates back to at least 2010, when Moscow sweltered under record temperatures that summer. Back then, a Russian political scientist claimed that the alleged weapons “provoke droughts, erase crops and induce various anomalous phenomena in certain countries."
Forecasters expect above-average temperatures in Russia this January and February, the RBC news website reported Tuesday.
In addition to an unusually warm winter, with a lack of traditional snow cover in December, Moscow experienced its coldest summer on record in 2019.
Russia remains a relatively climate-skeptic nation, with recent polls saying that less than half of Russians believe climate change poses a major threat to their country.