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Russian nuclear doctrine could be amended in response to threats – MP

Changes “in terms of making a decision” on the use of atomic weapons could be made, the parliament’s defense committee head has said

Russia’s nuclear doctrine could be amended if threats and challenges to the country continue to grow, the head of the Russian parliament’s Defense Committee, Andrey Kartapolov, has said.

Any changes to the rules regarding the use of nuclear weapons would depend on the international military and political situation, Kartapolov told RIA Novosti on Sunday.

“The doctrine reflects our reaction to what is happening around our country. If we see that the challenges and threats are increasing, then we could correct something in it in terms of the time for the use of nuclear weapons, in terms of making a decision on this use,” he said.

Kartapolov stressed, however, that it is “too early” to speak about any specific amendments that could be introduced.

Russia’s current doctrine states that nuclear weapons can only be used if the country is attacked with weapons of mass destruction, or if it is faced with an existential threat from conventional warfare.

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Russia to upgrade nuclear weapons

During a visit to Vietnam on Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Moscow is thinking about making changes to its nuclear doctrine. This is because the West, which he described as Russia’s “potential adversary,” is working on “lowering the threshold for the use of nuclear weapons,” including developing ultra-low-yield nuclear devices, he explained.

Ideas are being floated within the Western expert community that these weapons could be used and “that there is nothing particularly terrible about it,” the president said, adding that Russia “must pay attention to this.”

Putin stressed that “we don’t need a first strike” capability, “because our return strike is guaranteed to destroy any attacker.”

Last week, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said members of the US-led military bloc are debating whether to place more nuclear weapons on standby amid tensions with Russia over Ukraine. NATO must clearly convey to the outside world that it has a strong deterrent potential, he insisted.

READ MORE: NATO could put more nuclear weapons on ‘standby mode’ – Stoltenberg

Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov accused the NATO chief of having double standards, saying that Stoltenberg, who previously accused Putin of “nuclear saber rattling,” is doing the same thing. The Russian president “does not make… remarks [about nuclear weapons] on his own volition,” but only when asked directly by journalists, Peskov noted.

June 23, 2024 at 02:14PM

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