Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov was interviewed by CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Tuesday and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesperson would not rule out a nuclear strike in Ukraine.
Peskov indicated that Russia is nowhere close to ending its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, claiming the military operation is proceeding “strictly in accordance with the plans,” while insisting that Putin has not achieved his goals in Ukraine “yet.”
“It’s a serious operation with serious purposes,” Peskov said in English.
At one point, Amanpour gave Peskov the opportunity to ease the fears of many people in the world of Russia using nuclear weapons. And he passed on the opportunity.
“I need to ask you this, because the world is afraid, and I want to know whether Putin intends the world to be afraid of the nuclear option, would he use it?” Amanpour asked.
“President Putin intends to make the world listen to and understand our concerns,” Peskov replied. “We have been trying to convey our concerns to the world, to Europe, to the United States, for a couple of decades. But no one would listen to us.”
President Putin has raised the threat of using nuclear weapons – and his spokesperson Dmitry Peskov refused to rule out their use, in an interview with me tonight. pic.twitter.com/uxQqncLGYN
— Christiane Amanpour (@amanpour) March 22, 2022
“Look, Ukraine is a country, sovereign. It’s recognized by the United Nations. It’s been around for a very, very long time,” Amanpour followed up. “But I just want to know. I want to ask you again, is President Putin–because, again, the Finnish president said to me that when he asked Putin directly about this, because President Putin has laid that card on the table, President Putin said that, if anybody tries to stop him, very bad things will happen. And I want to know whether you are convinced or confident that your boss will not use that option.”
Peskov responded by suggesting that using the nuclear option in defense of domestic security remains a viable option.
“Well, we have a concept of domestic security, and, well, it’s public,” he said. “You can read all the reasons for nuclear arms to be used. So, if it is an existential threat for our country, then it can be used, in accordance with our concept.”
Russia’s declared reasons for using the nuclear option were shared online:
For completeness, this is the declared doctrine on use, which is pretty much exactly what peskov just restated pic.twitter.com/j9aIm8ITi4
— Pwn All The Things (@pwnallthethings) March 23, 2022
The current U.S. policy referred to as “calculated ambiguity,” is that the United States “has pledged to refrain from using nuclear weapons against most non-nuclear-weapon states, but has neither ruled out their first use in all cases nor specified the circumstances under which it would use them,” according to Congressional Research Service.
A group of 55 Democratic lawmakers from the House and the Senate, led by Sens. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), and U.S. Reps. John Garamendi (D-Calif.) and Donald S. Beyer (D-Va.), sent President Biden a letter in January urging him to declare a “no first use” policy for nuclear arms and to roll back the “reliance on nuclear weapons” in the Pentagon’s forthcoming Nuclear Posture Review, Air Force Magazine reported.
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