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Putin Opens the Nuclear Door of Opportunity

Daniel Kim Views  

EPA-Yonhap News

President Vladimir Putin of Russia has left the door open to the possibility of nuclear weapon testing, despite stating there is currently no need for Russia to utilize nuclear weapons. On June 7, at the main session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), Putin said, “The use of nuclear weapons is only possible in exceptional circumstances, and I do not think such a situation has arisen.” He made this statement in response to a question about whether Russia needs to aim its nuclear gun at the West regarding the Ukraine issue.

However, Putin referenced Russia’s nuclear doctrine that stipulates the conditions for the use of nuclear weapons, saying, “The doctrine is alive, and we are closely watching what is happening in the world around us.” He emphasized that he would not rule out modifying the doctrine. He reaffirmed that while nuclear testing could occur if necessary, the situation does not currently call for it. Reuters analyzed this as “an attempt by the Kremlin to reduce nuclear fear at a time when the situation in Ukraine is becoming unprecedentedly dangerous.” Russia and the United States hold nearly 90% of the world’s nuclear weapons.

Pranay Vaddi, the Senior Advisor for Arms Control, Disarmament, and Nonproliferation at the U.S. National Security Council (NSC), said on the same day that if there is no change in the nuclear weapon trajectories of adversary countries such as Russia, China, and North Korea, the U.S. may need to increase the current number of deployed nuclear weapons in a few years. In response, Maria Zakharova, Spokesperson for the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, clearly stated that if the United States increases its deployment of nuclear weapons, Russia will respond accordingly to its nuclear doctrine. She emphasized, “If there is a need to revise (the nuclear doctrine), some revisions will be adopted.”

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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