"An option is stipulated for the possibility of using nuclear weapons depending on the situation and the intentions of a potential enemy," Nikolai Patrushev told the Izvestia newspaper. "In situations critical for national security, a nuclear strike, including a preventive one, against an aggressor is not ruled out."
Patrushev said changes to Russia's military doctrine, which will be presented to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev by the end of the year, was prompted by threats and dangers Russia faced, the RIA Novosti news agency reported.
The current military doctrine, adopted in 2000, outlines the Russian military role in defending the country and, if necessary, preparing and waging war, while stressing the Russian military doctrine was defensive.
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