Dmitry Medvedev, former Russian President and highly influential Kremlin insider, said on Tuesday that he believes Russia can launch a nuclear strike against Ukraine. Medvedev, who is currently Russia's Security Council chief, said the Nato alliance is incapable of offering a credible deterrent against Russia as they fear their own safety.
'Nato Will Not Interfere'
"Let's imagine that Russia is forced to use the most formidable weapons against the Ukrainian regime, which has committed a large-scale act of aggression that is dangerous for the very existence of our state. I believe that NATO will not directly interfere in the conflict even in this scenario. After all, the security of Washington, London, and Brussels for the North Atlantic alliance is much more important than the fate of an unnecessary Ukraine," the close confidant of Russian President Vladimir Putin said.
Earlier, Putin himself had said that he was not bluffing on the nuclear threat. Putin, who declared a partial mobilization last week, said Russia has disastrous nukes and it can use them whenever needed. Accusing the West of nuclear blackmail, he threatened a nuclear response if Ukraine continues to try to reclaim the Donbas territories that are holding referendum on joining Russia.
Mocks Western Leaders
In his latest remarks, Medvedev pointedly targeted the Western leaders, saying that he believes they will not want to die in a 'nuclear apocalypse' and that they will 'swallow' the use of any weapon by Russia.
His comments came after the US officially said the nuclear threat made by Russia did not seem material enough. White House press secretary Karin Jean-Pierre said on Monday that the US has not noticed any signs that Moscow is preparing use nuclear weapons in the Ukraine war.
However, Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky had taken the nuclear threat seriously, saying that Putin is probably not 'bluffing' when he speaks about the use of nuclear weapons.
Medvedev justified the rhetoric, saying that as per Russian law, it is legitimate for the country to launch a nuclear attack even if there is no first strike against it. He says that even if the country is attacked with conventional weapons that threaten "the very existence of our state," Moscow can authorize the use of nuclear weapons.
"If the threat to Russia exceeds the established danger limit, we will have to respond," he said. "Without asking anyone's permission, without long consultations. And it's definitely not a bluff," Medvedev said, according to the Insider.