“They (the United States) have it in their strategy, in the documents it is written – a preventive strike. We don’t have one. We, on the other hand, have formulated a counter strike in our strategy,” Putin said at a press conference in the capital of Kyrgyzstan, Bishkek.
Even if Russia retaliates immediately when it sees nuclear missiles being fired at it, Putin said, “this means that the warheads of the enemy’s missiles will fall on the territory of the Russian Federation – they will still fall.”
Putin said the United States’ policy is not to rule out the possibility of “disarming” a nuclear strike, while Russia’s doctrine is to use nuclear weapons as a last resort.
“So if we’re talking about this disarming strike, then maybe consider adopting the best practices of our American partners and their ideas for ensuring their security.” We’re just thinking about it. No one was ashamed to talk about it loudly in previous times and years,” he said.
“If a potential adversary thinks it’s possible to use the pre-emptive strike theory, and we don’t, it still makes us think about those threats that we face,” he added.
Biden administration officials previously said Moscow had been warned at the highest level about the consequences of using nuclear weapons in the war.
On Wednesday, Putin warned of the “growing” threat of nuclear war, while stopping short of promising that Russia would not be the first to resort to nuclear weapons in a conflict.
“As for the idea that Russia would not under any circumstances be the first to use such weapons, then that means that we also could not be the second to use them – because the ability to do so in the event of an attack on our territory would be very limited,” he said on Wednesday.
Putin’s comments come as the war enters winter, with Russia continuing to shell eastern and southern parts of Ukraine – and facing attacks on its own soil.
On Monday, Russia unleashed a new wave of drone and missile attacks targeting energy infrastructure in Ukraine. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the strikes caused significant power outages in several regions, including Kyiv and Odessa.
The Russian Defense Ministry blamed the attacks on Ukraine, which has yet to offer a public comment on the blasts.
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