Russia says no nuclear intentions for Ukraine


Photo:AFP

Moscow:Russia has no intention of deploying tactical nuclear weapons in Ukraine, a foreign ministry spokesman said on Friday, a day after Moscow’s top diplomat in the U.S. chided Western officials for targeting it with “baseless” accusations.

“Russia firmly abides by the principle that there can be no victors in a nuclear war and it must not be unleashed,” Alexey Zaitsev said. He added that Russian nuclear doctrine does not envisage any scenarios for potential strikes which would apply to Moscow’s military goals in Ukraine.

Nevertheless, Zaitsev added that “any provocations whatsoever can be expected” from Ukraine and the West, and that Russia has to “be ready for any development in the media space and directly on the ground.”

His statement echoed remarks made by Russia’s ambassador in Washington on Thursday.

In an interview with Newsweek, Anatoly Antonov slammed what he called “a flurry of blatant misrepresentation of Russian officials’ statements on our country’s nuclear policy.” He accused top U.S. military leaders — including the Defense Secretary and Joint Chiefs of Staff — of falsely blaming Moscow for escalating nuclear tensions, calling their claims “baseless” and “part of a propaganda campaign against Russia in response to the steps taken to neutralize threats to our national security emanating from the Ukrainian territory.”

He also blamed the wider Western bloc for what he called its “irresponsible” handling of the situation in Ukraine, implying that NATO’s rhetoric and continuing support for Kyiv contributed to heightening nuclear tensions.

“The current generation of NATO politicians clearly does not take the nuclear threat seriously,” Antonov told Newsweek.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov and Russia’s parliament speaker Vyacheslav Volodin both asserted this week that Moscow would not use nuclear weapons first.

(AP)

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