Russian President Vladimir Putin said his country would only use nuclear weapons in response to a confirmed missile attack on Russian territory in a documentary broadcast on state television Rossiya on Wednesday.
The decision to use nuclear weapons can only be made if our (radar) systems detect not only the takeoff of missiles but accurately predict the trajectory of their flights and the time of their impact on Russian territory, “said the president.
With just less than two weeks to go before re-election for another six-year term, and shortly after introducing the new arsenal of state-of-the-art Russian nuclear weapons to the world, Putin made it clear that he will not tremble if someone tries to annihilate Russia.
“If anyone makes the decision to destroy Russia, we will have a legitimate right to respond,” he said in an extensive interview included in the documentary “World Order 2018”.
He admitted that a nuclear war would be a global catastrophe for the entire planet, but wondered if “as a citizen of Russia and head of the Russian state” would be worth “a world where Russia was not.”
On the other hand, he recalled that the nuclear bomb was developed by the United States, not by Russia and that it was the Americans who were the first, and so far the only ones, to use that weapon against people.
“Where are the guarantees that it will not happen again?” The Russian leader was quoted as saying.
Last week Putin surprised everyone by presenting a series of new nuclear weapons during his State of the Union address.
The Russian leader, who is due to be re-elected President of the United States on Thursday, has revealed weapons that have long been a secret, including a heavy intercontinental missile and a hypersonic cruise missile, submarine drones armed with nuclear rockets and laser weapons.