On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that there could be no winners in a nuclear war and that such a fight should never be launched.
The Kremlin leader made the remark in a letter to delegates in a nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT) meeting, more than five months into his war on Ukraine.
“We proceed from the fact that there can be no winners in a nuclear war and it should never be unleashed, and we stand for equal and indivisible security for all members of the world community,” he said.
His remarks to the NPT forum looked to be intended at soothing the audience and showing Russia as a responsible nuclear power.
They contrasted with previous pronouncements by Putin and other Russian politicians that were seen as implied nuclear threats in the West.
Putin specifically mentioned Russia’s nuclear arsenal in a speech on February 24, as he launched the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and warned outside nations that any attempt to interfere would “lead you to such consequences that you have never encountered in your history”
He then ordered Russia’s nuclear forces to be placed on high alert a few days later.
The fight has heightened geopolitical tensions to heights not seen since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, with politicians in both Russia and the United States openly discussing the possibility of World War Three.
Given Russia’s losses in Ukraine, CIA Director William Burns stated in April that “none of us can take lightly the threat posed by a potential resort to tactical nuclear weapons or low-yield nuclear weapons.”
Russia has accused the West of waging a “proxy war” against it by arming Ukraine and placing sanctions on Moscow, citing its military doctrine that allows for the deployment of nuclear weapons in the event of an existential danger to the Russian state.
Earlier on Monday, a Russian foreign ministry source questioned the validity of US President Joe Biden’s request for discussions on a nuclear arms limitation framework to replace a treaty set to expire in 2026. more info
In April, Russia performed the first test launch of its new Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile, which is capable of carrying out nuclear strikes against the United States, and stated that the warheads will be deployed by September.