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Russian Officials Downplay Putin’s Nuclear Threat

Russia is not seeking an “open confrontation” because the ambassadors insist that Washington and Moscow are no closer to the “abyss” of a nuclear conflict, the deputy foreign minister said.

Days after Russian President Vladimir Putin created a thinly veiled nuclear threat To Ukraine and its Western allies, Russian officials ignored the warnings.

Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said on Friday that Moscow does not threaten the use of nuclear weapons and that any confrontation with NATO and the United States would not benefit the Kremlin.

“We are not threatening anyone with nuclear weapons,” Ryabkov told reporters. “The criteria for their use are outlined in Russian military doctrine.”

(Al Jazeera)

In a televised address earlier this week, when Putin announced partial mobilization to boost military fighting in Ukraine, he said he was “not bluffing” about using nuclear weapons if Russia’s territory was threatened. ” he said.

But Ryabkov said Russia did not want an “open confrontation” with the United States or NATO and did not want the situation to escalate any further.

Also on Friday, Anatoly Antonov, Russia’s ambassador to the United States, said he wanted to believe that “despite all the difficulties, Russia and Washington are not on the verge of collapsing into the abyss of nuclear war.” report.

and two retired Russian generals told Al Jazeera They believe the possibility of nuclear war was wise.

Russian President Vladimir Putin gives speech in Moscow dedicated to military conflict with Ukraine
Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced that he will send an additional 300,000 troops. [Russian Presidential Press Service/Kremlin via Reuters]

On Wednesday, Putin announced Russia’s first mobilization since World War II, telling the nation that his country was fighting the military resources of Western powers backing Ukraine and Kyiv.

In his speech, Putin said he supported annexation referendum Across four regions ongoing in Ukraine.

Russian government officials, including former presidents Dmitry Medvedevsaid that once regions are incorporated into Russia, any Ukrainian attack on these regions will be considered a direct attack on Russia.

This means that the use of nuclear weapons under Russia’s nuclear doctrine can be authorized if Russia considers itself to be facing an “existential threat.”

Meanwhile, Thursday’s speech to the UN Security Council was highly critical of Russia, with non-aligned nations joining the US and its allies in condemning Ukraine’s aggression.

However, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who attended the UN conference, said: Ukraine had become an “anti-Russian foothold for creating threats to Russia’s security.”

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