Putin signals possible changes to Russia’s nuclear doctrine

Russia may reconsider its nuclear doctrine in light of the West lowering the threshold for the use of nuclear weapons, said Russian president Vladimir Putin made this announcement at a press conference in Hanoi on Thursday, June 20.

"We are currently contemplating what and how could be changed in this nuclear doctrine and strategy. This is related to the fact that new elements are appearing (in any case, we know that a potential adversary is working on this), connected with the lowering of the threshold for the use of nuclear weapons," Forbes quoted Putin as responding to a question about under what conditions Moscow would be prepared to change its nuclear doctrine.

Putin stated that it would not be necessary to include a pre-emptive nuclear strike in the Russian doctrine, as a retaliatory strike would guarantee the opponent's destruction.

The Russian president claimed that Western countries continuously escalate tensions and aim for a strategic defeat of Russia on the battlefield. For Russia, such a strategic defeat would mean the end of its statehood and the conclusion of the thousand-year history of the Russian state, The Moscow Times quoted Putin.

"In that case, the question arises—why should we be afraid? Would not it be better to go all the way? This is basic formal logic," Putin added.

Earlier, on June 18, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov stated that Russia could make changes to its nuclear doctrine in response to NATO’s plans to bring its nuclear forces to combat readiness. [

According to Forbes, in June, the Russian Defense Ministry announced the beginning of the second stage of exercises of non-strategic nuclear forces, during which the issues of using such weapons in combat would be practiced. In the first stage of the exercises, missile units and aviation practiced acquiring special munitions for the Iskander systems and Kinzhal hypersonic missiles.

The current edition of the Russian nuclear doctrine permits the use of nuclear weapons in the event of a threat to its existence.

  Putin, Russia, NATO