The decree also addresses the principles of nuclear deterrence to guarantee the country’s sovereignty. In particular, the country’s policy is defensive.
Under paragraph 17, Russia may use nuclear weapons in response to similar actions against it.
Four conditions for Russia’s use of nuclear weapons:
– accurate data on the launch of ballistic missiles against Russia or its allies;
– the use of nuclear or other weapons of mass destruction against Russia or its allies;
– attack on critical objects of the Russian Federation, through which the relevant actions may be disrupted;
– an attack with the use of conventional weapons, if it threatens the very existence of the state.
It is also stated that the decision on the use of nuclear weapons must be made by the head of state.
The decree also noted the military dangers that could escalate into aggression, to which Russia can respond with the use of nuclear weapons. One such danger is the deployment of nuclear weapons and missiles in non-nuclear countries.
The dangers include the deployment of air defense and strike systems in space, as well as the uncontrolled proliferation of nuclear weapons, technology, and equipment.
In 2018, during his annual address to the Federal Assembly, Putin announced new Russian weapons.
According to him, Russia has created and successfully tested a new cruise missile with a energy nuclear installation. Putin added that the missile has an unlimited range and unpredictable flight trajectory.
In July 2019, Russia suspended the Treaty on the Elimination of Medium-Range and Short-Range Missiles. A month earlier, US intelligence accused Russia of conducting low-power nuclear tests but did not provide details.
The latest version of the Fundamentals of Russia’s State Policy in the Field of Nuclear Restraint was signed by Dmytro Medvedev 10 years ago. The document was valid until 2020.