During a news briefing at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova reiterated that Russia’s hypothetical use of nuclear weapons would only occur in extraordinary circumstances and strictly for defensive purposes.
She emphasised that Russia’s nuclear deterrence policy is defensive in nature and strictly adheres to the principle of the inadmissibility of nuclear war.
Regarding the suspension of the strategic arms reduction treaty (New START), Zakharova indicated that Russia’s decision could be reversible if the United States demonstrates political will and takes steps to ease tensions, de-escalate, and create conditions for the treaty’s full functioning.
Russian President Vladimir Putin had previously announced the suspension of Russia’s participation in New START but clarified that it was not a complete withdrawal.
Putin highlighted the need for the treaty to consider the nuclear arsenals of not only the United States but also other NATO nuclear powers, such as Britain and France.