Moscow can use nuclear weapons to defend itself, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Tuesday, days after he asserted that all means could be used to protect territories incorporated into Russia from Ukraine.
According to the country's military doctrine, Russia can use its nukes if the country itself or its allies are attacked with the same weapons or if Russia's existence threatened, Medvedev, the deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council, wrote on Telegram.
He also warned the West against helping Ukraine to get nuclear weapons, stressing that it may have severe consequences.
"If the threat to Russia exceeds the established danger limit, we will have to respond," he wrote.
Medvedev doubted that NATO will interfere in the Russia-Ukraine conflict even in a nuclear scenario, suggesting that for Washington, London and Brussels their own security is more important "than the fate of dying Ukraine."
"The supply of modern weapons is just a business for Western countries based on hatred of us. No more. Overseas and European demagogues are not going to die in a nuclear apocalypse. Therefore, they will swallow the use of any weapon in the current conflict," he said.
Ukraine’s self-declared republics of Luhansk and Donetsk, along with Russian-controlled parts of Zaporizhzhia and Kherson, are holding referendums on joining Russia, a move the international community says is illegal and would not be recognized.
Last week Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a partial military mobilization, calling up to 300,000 reservists for deployment to Ukraine, a move seen as escalation in the war that began in February.