The conflict in Ukraine does not justify Russia’s use of nuclear weapons, but Moscow may decide to use its nuclear arsenal in response to NATO countries’ “direct aggression” over the invasion, Russia told the United Nations on Tuesday.
At a nuclear non-proliferation conference, Russian diplomat Alexander Trofimov dismissed “completely unfounded, unrealistic and unacceptable speculation that Russia is allegedly threatening to use nuclear weapons, particularly in Ukraine.”
Days after invading Russia on February 24, Putin put the country’s deterrent forces – which include nuclear weapons – on high alert, citing aggressive statements by NATO leaders and Western economic sanctions against Moscow.
Trofimov, a senior diplomat in the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Department of Non-Proliferation and Arms Control, said Moscow will only use nuclear weapons in response to weapons of mass destruction or a conventional arms attack that threatens the very existence of the Russian state.
“Neither of these two hypothetical scenarios is relevant to the situation in Ukraine,” Trofimov told the UN Conference on the Review of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
However, he accused the Allies of a “bitter hybrid confrontation” with Russia, which is now “poised dangerously on the brink of open military clash”.
“Such a move could trigger either of the two emergency scenarios outlined in our doctrine,” Trofimov said. “Of course we stand to prevent this, but if Western countries try to test our resolve, Russia will not back down.”
Russia on Tuesday accused the United States of direct involvement in the Ukraine war.
Moscow said it was responding to comments from a Ukrainian official about the way Kyiv had been using US-made and supplied High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) launch vehicles, based on what the official described as excellent satellite imagery and real-time information .
https://nypost.com/2022/08/02/west-could-trigger-nuclear-war-over-ukraine-russia-diplomat-says-at-un/ The West could unleash a nuclear war over Ukraine, says a Russian diplomat at the UN