Skip to main content

The key defense document leaves room for interpretation, a senior Russian diplomat says

Russia is concerned over the growing number of scenarios allowing the use of nuclear weapons in the defense strategies of the US and other Western powers, Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko said on Saturday. This comes after the Pentagon released its updated nuclear posture earlier this week.

Speaking to RIA Novosti news agency, the diplomat said Moscow “is closely monitoring the evolution” of Western military doctrines, including those presented by nuclear powers – the US, the UK and France.

“We are also watching what is happening with delivery vehicles and with the weapons themselves,” Grushko added.

The diplomat voiced alarm over the general direction of key Western defense documents. Lamenting that “the language of nuclear strategies is quite vague”, Grushko noted that Moscow has seen “an increase in the number of scenarios, including outside of the nuclear context, which allow the use of nuclear weapons”.

Meanwhile, Grushko continued, Russia’s nuclear posture is very specific and “avoids any ambiguity.” The diplomat stressed that short of a direct nuclear strike, Russia could deploy atomic weapons “only if the very existence of the state is threatened.”

On Thursday, the Pentagon released its 2022 National Defense Strategy (NDS), along with the Nuclear Posture Review and Missile Defense Review. The document places “renewed emphasis on nuclear arms control, nuclear nonproliferation, and risk reduction,” while identifying Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran as four potential adversaries for nuclear weapons planning.

At the same time, Washington left the door open to such options as a nuclear first strike, while allowing for the use of such weapons of mass destruction to prevent conventional attacks. The decision to reject limits on the use of nukes comes amid rising tensions with Russia and China.

However, the document also stated that the “fundamental role” of US nuclear weapons “is to deter nuclear attacks” and Washington would consider deploying such measures only “in extreme circumstances to defend the vital interests of the United States or its Allies and partners”.

The Kremlin has repeatedly stated that a nuclear war must never be fought, while warning Western countries against engaging in “provocative” rhetoric.

You can share this story on social media:

Read the original article

Leave a Reply