All news

Russia makes no changes to military doctrine over US plans to quit INF Treaty — diplomat

Russia’s military doctrine envisages two purely hypothetical scenarios under which the country may use nuclear weapons

MOSCOW, November 23. /TASS/. Russia is not making any amendments to its military doctrine over Washington’s intention to quit the INF Treaty, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Friday.

"Russia’s military doctrine envisages two purely hypothetical scenarios under which the country may use nuclear weapons. Firstly, an attack against Russia with nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction," he said.

"Secondly, an act of aggression against Russia with conventional weapons on such a scale that it may endanger the very existence of our statehood."

"Clearly, both scenarios are purely hypothetical, and no changes to the Russian military doctrine are being made," Ryabkov said. "But of course a discussion of alternative scenarios, a conceptual debate will follow on how any change in the situation in Europe or in any other region may be reflected in the doctrine."

He described that as one of the negative effects of the United States’ declared intention to abandon the INF Treaty.

"The intention of disrupting strategic stability is reflected in the fact that specialists have begun to raise questions whether it should be preserved and if some changes are required," Ryabkov said. "General uncertainty has been soaring," the diplomat noted.

Measures of response

Russia, Ryabkov noted, is obligated to react to any considerable change in the military and political situation "if the declared intention to quit the INF Treaty entails specific material steps." 

"What our response will be, how we will balance the system again and ensure our security in this situation all these are a separate matter," he said. "At this point the issue can be discussed only in very general terms."

"Specialists responsible for military planning and analysis of the military and technical repercussions for any kind of move will do that far more competently and at the right moment. Right now, the moment has not come."

Declared US intention to quit INF Treaty

US President Donald Trump on two occasions, on October 20 and 22, publically declared his intention to pull out of the INF Treaty. Moscow has still not received an official notification, though. Trump’s National Security Adviser John Bolton on October 31 said the notification would follow in due time.

The United States accused Russia of violating the INF for the first time in July 2014. The US repeated its charges many times later on. Moscow categorically denied them and hit back at Washington with its own counterclaims of US non-compliance.