After Biden’s stern warning, Russia reiterates it won’t use nuclear weapons in Ukraine

Amid the raging war in Eastern Europe, Russian officials claimed that the country’s nuclear doctrine was “self-explanatory” and that the ongoing conflict in Ukraine did not fit any of its terms. When asked about the possibility of Russia using nuclear weapons in Ukraine, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov replied that the nuclear doctrine mentions everything. “Read the doctrine, everything is written there,” he told RIA Novosti news agency on Saturday, September 17. His comments came after US President Joe Biden warned that Russia would face “international consequences” if it used nuclear weapons in Ukraine.

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Russia’s nuclear doctrine states that Moscow reserves the right to use nuclear weapons only in retaliation for the use of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction against Russia or its partners. It went on to explain that the nuclear weapons are also being used in response to a conventional strike that threatens Russia’s existence as a sovereign state. At the UN Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) review conference in New York in August, Russian officials emphasized that none of these hypothetical scenarios apply to the situation in Ukraine, making the use of nuclear weapons out of the question.

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Putin says Russia has so far shown a “cautious response” to Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin, meanwhile, has claimed his country has so far shown a “cautious response” to actions by the Ukrainian regime, such as attempts to destroy vital infrastructure on Russian territory or stage “terrorist attacks”. “We are witnessing attempts to stage terrorist attacks, attempts to damage our civilian infrastructure. We are responding to this with restraint, but only for now,” Putin told reporters Sept. 16. His statements came as Russian forces have been attacking Ukraine for more than six months.

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Russia will not use nuclear weapons in Ukraine: defense minister

However, Russia has repeatedly stressed that it has no intention of using nuclear weapons against Ukraine. At the beginning of August, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu assured that the country would not resort to nuclear weapons in Ukraine. According to the defense minister, the primary purpose of the country’s nuclear weapons is to thwart nuclear attacks, and their use is only allowed in “extraordinary circumstances,” as detailed in Russian guides.

Image: AP

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