Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said that Russia is not considering using nuclear weapons against Ukraine, and repeated Moscow’s line that using such weapons would come after their existence was threatened.

Peskov was speaking in a PBS interview, seeking to clarify comments from Dmitry Medvedev, Russia’s former president, who outlined scenarios where the country can use nuclear weapons if faced with an existential threat. 

Now I become death, destroyer of worlds 

At the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, President Vladimir Putin warned that he had put Moscow’s nuclear forces on high alert. 

After this, Medvedev added Russia’s nuclear doctrine does not require an adversary to use their stockpile first, to launch an attack. 

Victory without nuclear risk 

Peskov seemed confident that Russia would achieve all objectives it set at the start of the “special military operation in Ukraine”, which is Russia’s term for the ongoing war. The Kremlin spokesperson added, “but any outcome of the operation, of course, is not a reason for usage of a nuclear weapon”. 

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He continued, “We have a security concept that very clearly states that only when there is a threat for existence of the state in our country”, adding, “we can use and we will actually use nuclear weapons to eliminate the threat or the existence of our country”. 

Peskov again asked for a line to be drawn between the existence of the state and the special military operation in Ukraine. 

When interviewer Ryan Chilcote quizzed Peskov if the war in Ukraine would ever threaten Russia’s existence, prompting the use of nuclear weapons, the Kremlin spokesperson said “no one is thinking about using, even about the idea of using a nuclear weapon”. 

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Peskov’s comments come when Russia and Ukraine are commencing talks in Turkey. Thus far, the nations haven’t reached a ceasefire agreement but recently President Volodymyr Zelensky sought out Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, indicating that all matters including Ukraine’s NATO membership, Crimea and Donbas’ independence would be on the table if the leaders set up a meeting.