Fire any ballistic missile at Russia, and Moscow might respond with a nuclear warhead. That’s according to the Russian Defense Ministry, which has publicly disclosed its conditions for launching a nuclear strike.
“Any attacking missile will be treated as a nuclear-equipped missile. Information about the launch of an automatic missile will be communicated to the country’s top leadership, which, depending on the situation, will determine the scale of the nuclear forces’ response,” wrote Andrey Sterlin, a member of Russia’s General Staff and Alexander Khryapin, a top military scientist, in the Defense Ministry’s newspaper Red Star.
The pair explained that the Russian missile attack warning system cannot determine whether a launched missile is nuclear or non-nuclear and will, therefore, be treated as a worst-case scenario. Especially given the short response time available to a nuclear attack.
The New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) nuclear arms reduction agreement between the US and Russia is due to expire on February 5, 2021, with US President Donald Trump refusing to extend the end date, believing it is favorable to Moscow. The treaty limits the number of deployed strategic nuclear warheads, and allows both countries to monitor each other, both remotely and on-site.
Sterlin and Khryapin believe that the expiry of the treaty would enable the US to limitlessly build up their stock of weapons and once again leave the planet “teetering on the brink of a global nuclear catastrophe.”
Like this story? Share it with a friend!