Russian Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev on Tuesday said he doesn’t believe the US and NATO would intervene if Russia launched a nuclear strike in Ukraine over fears of a "nuclear apocalypse" despite recent comments from US officials.
Medvedev, a former Russian president, also reiterated that Moscow believes it has the right to use nuclear weapons if Russia’s existence is threatened.
"Let’s imagine that Russia is forced to use its most formidable weapons against the Ukrainian regime, which has committed a large-scale act of aggression that is endangering the very existence of our state. I believe that NATO will not directly interfere in the conflict even in this scenario," Medvedev wrote on Telegram.
The former Russian president said that the supplying of weapons to Ukraine was just a "business" for the Western powers and that their security is much more important than "the fate of a dying Ukraine."
He said US and European "demagogues are not going to die in a nuclear apocalypse. That is why they will swallow the use of any weapon in the current conflict."
Addressing the recent warnings from Russian President Vladimir Putin and other officials, Medvedev said Moscow’s position on nuclear weapons is "not a bluff."
Putin warned last week that Russia could use nuclear weapons to defend its "territorial integrity," and Russian territory is set to expand into Ukraine.
It's understandable that a few recent developments again made people worry again about nuclear use. I don't have a crystal ball, but there are a few things to consider. And they seem to suggest that we are still at least a few steps away from that point. 1/11— Pavel Podvig (@russianforces) September 27, 2022
Referendums on joining Russia concluded Tuesday in the breakaway Donbas republics of Luhansk and Donetsk and in the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions of Ukraine. Russian-installed authorities reported overwhelming support for joining Russia, and Russian lawmakers are expected to move quickly to annex the territories.