MOSCOW, December 7. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday said the risk of a nuclear war is increasing.
"This risk (of a nuclear war - TASS) is increasing. Why deny it?" he said at a meeting with the Council for the Development of Civil Society and Human Rights.
The subject of a possible nuclear conflict was brought up by Svetlana Makovetskaya, director of a foundation called the Center of Civil Analysis and Independent Research Grani. She said there was a "large number of fears" with respect to the issue and proposed that the president, in a gesture of goodwill, make a statement that Russia will under no circumstances be the first to use nuclear weapons.
"About Russia not being the first to use under any circumstances, well, if it’s not the first to use under any circumstances, then it won’t be the second to use as well because a nuclear strike on our territory greatly limits the chances of using," the president said.
The Russian leader said Russia regards nuclear weapons as a means of defense, as an opportunity for a retaliatory counter strike.
"Our strategy for using the means of defense - and we regard weapons of mass destruction, nuclear weapons as defense - it’s all built around the so-called retaliatory counter strike, meaning when a strike is being inflicted on us, we inflict one in response," Putin said.