Russian officials downplay Putin’s nuclear threat | News about the Russian-Ukrainian war

Russia’s deputy foreign minister said Russia was not seeking ‘open confrontation’, as an ambassador claimed Washington and Moscow were not near the ‘abyss’ of a nuclear conflict.

The Days After Russian President Putin carry out a thinly veiled nuclear threat As for Ukraine and its Western allies, Russian officials have downplayed the warning.

On Friday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Moscow does not threaten the use of nuclear weapons and that any confrontation with NATO and the US is not in the interests of the Kremlin.

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

INTERACT Russia's nuclear program
(Al Jazeera)

In a televised speech earlier this week, Putin said he was “not lying” about the use of nuclear weapons if Russian territories were threatened when he announced partial mobilization to increase military fighting in Ukraine.

However, Ryabkov said Russia was not seeking “open confrontation” with the US or NATO and did not want the situation to escalate further.

Also on Friday, Russia’s ambassador to the United States, Anatoly Antonov, said he wanted to believe that “despite all the difficulties, Moscow and Washington are not on the brink of collapse of a nuclear conflict”, the news agency RIA Novosti reported.

And two retired Russian generals told Al Jazeera that they believe the possibility of a nuclear conflict is very small.

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks on the military conflict with Ukraine, in Moscow
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced an additional 300,000 troops. [Russian Presidential Press Service/Kremlin via Reuters]

On Wednesday, Putin announced Russia’s first deployment since World War II and told the public that his nation was fighting against Ukraine and its military resources. Western support for Kyiv.

In his speech, Putin said that he supported the merger referendum on four areas is underway in Ukraine.

Russian officials, including the former president Dmitry Medvedevsaid that once these areas are incorporated into Russia, Ukrainian attacks on these areas will be considered direct attacks on Russia.

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

Meanwhile, speeches at the United Nations Security Council on Thursday heavily criticized Russia, with countries not aligned with the United States and its allies condemning the invasion of Ukraine.

But Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who attended the UN meeting, said Ukraine has become “an anti-Russian platform for creating threats against Russian security”.

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