Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday that his country could adopt the doctrine of preemptive nuclear strikes while boasting that Russia’s cruise missile capabilities surpass those of the U.S.
Speaking at a summit of former Soviet nations in Kyrgyzstan, the Russian dictator referred to what he called America’s preemptive nuclear strike doctrine, saying that Russia is “thinking about” implementing something similar. Currently, Russian military doctrine states that Moscow can use a nuclear strike if the country comes under nuclear attack or the existence of the country is threatened.
“Speaking about a disarming strike, maybe it’s worth thinking about adopting the ideas developed by our U.S. counterparts, their ideas of ensuring their security,” Putin remarked with a smile, according to the Associated Press.
In October, the Pentagon rejected any limits on using nuclear weapons in its new National Defense Strategy, Bloomberg reported. Officials mentioned international threats from Russia and China as the reason for the refusal.
“[B]y the 2030s the United States will, for the first time in its history face two major nuclear powers as strategic competitors and potential adversaries,” the Pentagon said, adding that the U.S. will “maintain a very high bar for nuclear employment.”
During the summit, Putin also claimed that Russia has already commissioned hypersonic missiles capable of carrying out a preventative strike and that Russia’s cruise missiles surpass their U.S. equivalents. Later, he upped the direct warning about his country’s nuclear capabilities.
“I assure you, after the early warning system receives a signal of a missile attack, hundreds of our missiles are in the air,” Putin said, according to a Russian news outlet. “It is impossible to stop them.”
“There will be nothing left of the enemy, because it is impossible to intercept a hundred missiles. This, of course, is a deterrent — a serious deterrent,” he added.
The comments from the Russian leader, who is currently overseeing his country’s invasion of a sovereign nation, disturbed White House advisers, who called the words “saber-rattling,” the AP reported. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has slowed in recent months as Ukrainian forces have successfully pushed back in key areas on the war’s eastern front.
Earlier this week, Putin admitted that the war could be a “long process,” adding a stark warning that “the threat of nuclear war is growing,” Fox News reported.