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Russia’s Foreign Ministry notes anti-Russian focus of US nuclear doctrine

Moscow is accused of lowering a threshold of nuclear weapon use and of some ‘aggressive strategies’, the ministry said

MOSCOW, February 3. /TASS/. The content of the United States’ new nuclear doctrine released on Friday causes deep disappointment in Moscow, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a commentary on Saturday.

"While just having a flick through the document, one can notice that its confrontational charge and anti-Russian focus stare in the face," the commentary says. "We state with regret that the US justifies its policy for a massive buildup of nuclear forces and an alleged increasing role of nuclear weapons in Russia’s doctrines. We are accused of lowering a threshold of nuclear weapon use and of some ‘aggressive strategies’."

It has nothing in common with the actual state of affairs, the ministry says. "Certainly, we will be compelled to take into consideration the approaches introduced now by Washington and to take necessary steps in order to ensure own security," the commentary noted.

"Russia’s military policy has unambiguously limited the threshold of use of nuclear weapons to two - let us put it bluntly - hypothetical, entirely defensive scenarios. They are as follows: in response to an act of aggression against Russia and (or) against our allies if nuclear or other types of mass destruction weapons are used, and also - that is the second scenario - with use of conventional arms but only in case our state’s very existence would be in danger," the commentary says.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry pointed out that the eagerness to resort to nuclear weapons declared by the United States in order to discourage Russia’s employment of its nuclear arsenal "means an attempt to cast doubt on Russia’s right to self-defense in repelling any aggression in situations critical for the state’s existence."

"We would like to hope that Washington is still aware of how high is the degree of the threat emerging when such doctrinal approaches are transformed into the field of practical military planning," the document said.

Russia has urged the United States to join efforts to find solutions in the strategic stability field. "We appeal to the United States to team up to look for solutions to the problems that have been accumulating in the field of strategic stability," the ministry said.

Washington’s new stance on nuclear weapons employment causes concern, Russia’s Foreign Ministry noted. "Washington’s de facto ‘unlimited’ approach to the use of nuclear weapons is alarming: they declare a possibility of the employment of nuclear weapons ‘in extreme circumstances’ which authors of the doctrine do not limit to merely military scenarios," the commentary said. "Moreover, the notion of military scenarios is so blurred that the American ‘planners’ might be enabled to view nearly any use of military force as the pretext for delivering a nuclear strike against those they believe to be ‘aggressors’".

On Friday, the Pentagon released an updated Nuclear Posture Review, the sweeping review of the United States’ nuclear arms policy. In particular, it says that the US "has formal extended deterrence commitments that assure" more than 30 allies. On 27 January 2017, US President Donald Trump issued an order to update the US nuclear policies. The previous doctrine was approved in 2010 by then President Barack Obama. The Pentagon said that nuclear weapons are likely to be employed in case of attack on the United States "that may not come in the form of nuclear weapons.".