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Moscow says G7 nuclear rhetoric intended to pressure Russia, China

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Ryabkov attends the Human Rights Council at the United Nations in Geneva

(Reuters) - Russia's Foreign Ministry said on Monday that Group of Seven nuclear "rhetoric" has the sole aim of exerting psychological, military and political pressure on Moscow and Beijing.

In the first ever communiqué on nuclear disarmament issued at the G7 summit last week, the group called on Russia and China to show greater transparency about their nuclear arsenals, akin to steps taken by the United States, Britain and France.

In comments on the document, Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov - the ministry's point man for arms control - said the statement reflects the group's anti-Russian and anti-Chinese tone.

"One gets the impression that Western rhetoric on the topic of the size of their nuclear arsenals has a single goal - to exert psychological and military-political pressure on Russia and China," Ryabkov said in comments published on the ministry's website.

"Behind it is clearly a pathological desire to denigrate our countries."

The comments follow both China and Russia's furious response to the G7 summit and declarations that singled out both countries on range of issues. Moscow called the summit an "incubator" for anti-Russian and anti-Chinese hysteria.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and his "dear friend" President Vladimir Putin committed to a "no limits" partnership just before Russia's invasion on Ukraine in 2022, and have since further strengthened economic, political and military ties.

In a continued flurry of bilateral visits, Russia's Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin arrived in China late on Monday for talks with Chinese officials and businesses, adding to the West's unease over the two countries' relations.

(Reporting by Lidia Kelly in Melbourne; Editing by Lincoln Feast.)