Russia Threatens to Change Its Nuclear Doctrine Over U.S. ‘Escalation’


Moscow is threatening to make changes to its nuclear doctrine in response to what the Kremlin views as “escalatory actions” by the U.S. and NATO.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov dropped the warning on Tuesday in comments to reporters, saying that mounting “challenges” created by the U.S. and its allies “without a doubt, put before us in all its magnitude the question of how the basic documents in the field of nuclear deterrence can be brought more into line with current needs.”

He said Russian authorities would not give advance notice of what exact changes would be made to the doctrine, which lays out the conditions under which the Russian president would consider using a nuclear weapon.

Ryabkov’s comments come less than a week after Vladimir Putin floated the idea of making changes to the nuclear doctrine at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, calling it a “living tool” subject to change and warning that “we are carefully watching what is happening in the world around us and do not exclude making some changes to this doctrine.”

At that time, Putin said there was no basis for Moscow to use nuclear weapons against Ukraine but that Russia wouldn’t hesitate to use them if the “very existence” of the country is threatened.

He also suggested that the U.S. would not come to the rescue of European countries if they were targeted in nuclear strikes.

“If it comes to it, God forbid… Europeans must think about whether the Americans will get involved in a nuclear exchange at the strategic weapons level if those with whom we exchange strikes do not exist. I really doubt it,” he said, according to Interfax.

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