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Vladimir Putin ready to change Russia’s nuclear doctrine to hit back at US ‘escalation’ | World | News

Vladimir Putin ready to change Russia's nuclear doctrine to hit back at US 'escalation' | World | News

Vladimir Putin is prepared to modify his nuclear policy in response to what the Kremlin perceives as “escalatory actions” by the US, according to Russia‘s deputy Foreign Minister.

Sergei Ryabkov warned that Russian authorities would not expand on what exact changes would be made.

Ryabkov said the “challenges” the US and its allies have created “without a doubt, put before us in all it magnitude the question of how the basic documents in the field of nuclear deterrence can be brought more into line with current needs.”

The current doctrine lays out the conditions Putin would consider if faced with the prospect of deploying a nuclear weapon.

The Russian leader has been fuelling fears of a nuclear conflict since the start of the war in Ukraine as he put Moscow’s nuclear arsenal of high alert.

According to non-state news agency Interfax, he said: “If it comes to it, God forbid…Europeans must about whether the Americans will get involved in a nuclear exchange at the strategic weapons level if those with whom we exchange strikes do not exist. I really doubt it.”

Putin’s increasingly hostile rhetoric comes after the United States lifted a 10-year weapons ban on Ukraine‘s controversial Azov Brigade.

The group has far-right and ultra-nationalist roots, and its members have been slammed as “neo-Nazis” by Russia.

In a statement announcing the policy change, the State Department said: “After thorough review, Ukraine’s 12th Special Forces Azov Brigade passed Leahy vetting as carried out by the US Department of State.”

The Leahy Law regulates the supply of US military assistance and prevents its distribution to foreign units found to have committed human rights violations.

The State Department said “no evidence” of such violations was found. A spokesperson declined to confirm whether weapons had already reached the battalion.

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