Russian state TV has been frequently seen to discuss the notion of a nuclear strike, demonstrating mock-ups of hits on both Europe and the US. Such examples included creating a 500m high nuclear tsunami capable of sinking Britain, and a hypersonic missile strike leveling New York with the ground.
Now, Anatoly Antonov, Russia’s head of mission to Washington DC has said NATO is not taking the threat of a nuclear war in a serious enough manner.
He said: “The current generation of NATO politicians clearly does not take the nuclear threat seriously.”
The top diplomat warned should a nuclear war begin, there would be “no winners” from such an event.
Speaking to Newsweek in the US, HE Anatoly said talk of “sabre-rattling” and threat of using a nuclear weapon was a “flurry of a blatant misrepresentation of Russian officials’ statements on our country’s nuclear policy”.
Discussing the consequences of a nuclear war, the ambassador said: “It is our country that in recent years has persistently proposed to American colleagues to affirm that there can be no winners in a nuclear war, thus it should never happen.”
Russia’s envoy then underlined the “conditions under which the use of nuclear weapons is possible”.
Russia’s doctrine states that nuclear weapons “can be used in response to the use of WMD against Russia and its allies, or in the event of aggression against our country when the very existence of the state is jeopardised.”
The ambassador also reminded the world of previous statements referring to the “won winners” situation.
From military bases to major cities – where Russia could nuke the UK
Following a joint summit between US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin in June 2021, similar rhetoric was mentioned in which both parties would lose out should a nuclear war take place.
This was emulated again during a meeting of United Nations permanent Security Council members earlier this year, prior to the invasion of Ukraine.
The US has stoked tensions over the decades through the withdrawal of various measures aimed at preventing a nuclear war.
Next month will mark the 20-year anniversary of Washington’s choice to leave the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, a treaty which for 50 years marked a pioneering effort in reducing nuclear tension during the height of the Cold War.
Furthermore, whilst President, Donald Trump removed the US from the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty, after having accused the Kremlin of first defying the agreement through the development of a new cruise missile.
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The remaining treaty, still in place, and keeping both sides from falling into a full-blown Cold War, or worse, nuclear war is the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, also known as START.
The ambassador called START a “universally recognized gold standard in the sphere of maintaining strategic stability and transparency between the major nuclear powers.”
He added: “Russia has repeatedly drawn the attention of the United States that it is important to continue the joint work on an agreement that could replace New START and accommodate new realities of international security and development of military technologies.”
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Speaking of a slipping grip on treaties, and Russia’s willingness to negotiate, the head of mission ended by saying: “Regrettably, Washington has unilaterally ‘frozen’ the bilateral strategic stability dialogue that was launched at the Geneva summit, thus jeopardizing the prospects of keeping the foundation of arms control in place.
“Russia is ready to resume the consultations as soon as the United States is ready.”
The latest report submitted to Congress last month by the State Department assessed that both sides remained in compliance with New START.
Speaking from the US point of view, Strategic Command chief, Admiral Charles A. Richard said: “The nation and our allies have not faced a crisis like Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in over 30 years.
“President Putin simultaneously invaded a sovereign nation while using thinly veiled nuclear threats to deter US and NATO intervention.”