MOSCOW: Russia has 'no need' to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine, its defence minister said on Tuesday, describing media speculation that Moscow might deploy nuclear or chemical weapons in the...
MOSCOW: Russia has "no need" to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine, its defence minister said on Tuesday, describing media speculation that Moscow might deploy nuclear or chemical weapons in the conflict as "absolute lies".
"From a military point of view, there is no need to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine to achieve the set goals. The main purpose of Russian nuclear weapons is to deter a nuclear attack," Sergei Shoigu said during a speech at an international security conference in Moscow.
"The media are spreading speculation about the alleged use of Russian tactical nuclear weapons in the course of the special military operation, or about the readiness to use chemical weapons. All these informational attacks are absolute lies."
Shoigu also alleged Ukrainian military operations were being planned by the United States and Britain, and that Nato had increased its troop deployment in eastern and central Europe "several times over".
Referring to the New START Treaty to control US and Russian nuclear arms, Shoigu said talks to extend the treaty were "a two-way street", and the situation around it was "difficult".
Meanwhile, Russia said on Tuesday that massive explosions at a military facility on the Kremlin-controlled Crimean peninsula in Ukraine that also damaged electrical power infrastructure were the result of "sabotage".
Russian President Vladimir Putin meanwhile said the United States was trying to drag out the conflict, accusing Washington of putting Ukrainians in the firing line and supplying Kyiv with heavy weapons.