Kremlin spokesperson says Russia has a ‘concept of domestic security’ that outlines when nuclear weapons can be used.
Published On 22 Mar 202222 Mar 2022
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said in an interview that Russia would only use nuclear weapons if its very existence were threatened.
Peskov’s comment came as CNN interviewer Christiane Amanpour pushed him on whether he was “convinced or confident” that President Vladimir Putin would not use the nuclear option in the Ukrainian context.
“We have a concept of domestic security, and it’s public. You can read all the reasons for nuclear arms to be used,” Peskov said on Tuesday.
“So if it is an existential threat for our country, then it can be used in accordance with our concept.”
Putin last month ordered Russia’s nuclear forces to be put on high alert.
In line with the order, Russia’s defence ministry said on February 28 that its nuclear missile forces and northern and Pacific fleets had been placed on enhanced combat duty, the Interfax news agency reported.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on March 14 that “the prospect of nuclear conflict, once unthinkable, is now back within the realm of possibility”.Sign up for Al JazeeraWeekly Newsletter
The latest news from around the world.Timely. Accurate. Fair.Sign up
Peskov also told CNN that Russia’s war in Ukraine was “going on strictly in accordance with the plans and the purposes that were established beforehand”.
The comments come after United States President Joe Biden warned that Putin was considering using chemical and biological weapons in Ukraine, as he described Moscow’s tactics as increasingly “brutal”.
Last week Russia said it had launched its Kinzhal (Dagger) hypersonic missile that can hit targets anywhere on Earth within an hour.
Putin said in December that Russia was the global leader in hypersonic missiles, whose speed, manoeuvrability and altitude make them difficult to track and intercept.