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Putin suggests Russia may abandon 'first use' nuclear doctrine

Russia's President Vladimir Putin on Friday suggested that Russia may abandon its nuclear doctrine preventing the country from being the first to use nuclear weapons during conflict. File Photo by Kremlin/UPI
Russia's President Vladimir Putin on Friday suggested that Russia may abandon its nuclear doctrine preventing the country from being the first to use nuclear weapons during conflict. File Photo by Kremlin/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 9 (UPI) -- President Vladimir Putin on Friday suggested that Russia may abandon its nuclear doctrine preventing the country from being the first to use nuclear weapons during conflict.

His comments came in a transcript of a news conference provided by the Kremlin after his visit to Kyrgyzstan and mark the second time this week he has warned of the "increasing" threat of nuclear war.

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"In the United States, there is a theory and even practice, they have it in their strategy, in the documents, this is spelled out - a preventive strike. We don't," Putin said Friday.

"We, in our strategy, have formulated a retaliatory strike."

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Putin said that Russia's "reciprocal" system would currently respond if the country's early warning system detected the launch of missiles toward Russia.

He said that under the current doctrine, Russia would launch "hundreds of missiles" in retaliation and that it would be "impossible to stop them."

"But it's still a retaliatory strike," Putin said. "This means that enemy warheads falling on Russian territory is inevitable -- they will fall anyway. True, nothing will remain of the enemy, because it is impossible to intercept hundreds of missiles. And this of course is a deterrent -- a serious deterrent."

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Putin seemed to call the United States a "potential adversary" of Russia, which "makes us think" about the threat of such a "preventive strike" by the U.S.

"We regularly conduct exercises of our nuclear forces. You see it all, we do not hide it. We inform as it should be according to our agreements with all nuclear countries, with the United States. We inform our partners that we are conducting such exercises. They do the exact same thing, I assure you," Putin said.

He added that Russia has cruise missiles and "hypersonic systems," which he said, "so far there are none in the United States, but we have."

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"Therefore, if we are talking about this disarming strike, then perhaps we should think about adopting the achievements of our American partners and their ideas for ensuring our security," Putin said.

"We're just thinking about it. No one was shy when talking about it out loud in previous times and years. This is the first."

Earlier this year, President Joe Biden made headlines for off-the-cuff remarks during a speech in which he warned that the world could be heading toward "Armageddon."

"He is not joking when he talks about potential use of tactical nuclear weapons or biological and chemical weapons, because his military is, you might say, significantly underperforming" in Ukraine, Biden said.

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"I don't think there's any such thing as the ability to easily use tactical nuclear weapons and not end up with Armageddon."

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