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Russia's new nuke doctrine a veiled warning to China, NATO

MOSCOW (PTI): Lowering the threshold for the use of nuclear weapons, Russia has said it reserves the right to hit back with nukes in case of an aggression, in a new doctrine which may be a veiled warning to China besides containing rising NATO powers at its borders.

“Russia reserves the right to use nuclear weapons in response to the use of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction against it and its allies, as well as an aggression against the Russian Federation with the use of conventional weapons jeopardising the very existence of the state,” a military doctrine signed by President Dmitry Medvedev says.

Speaking on the conditions of anonymity, some foreign diplomats believe that the lowering of threshold for the nuclear weapons could be a veiled warning to China, which has an overwhelming numerical advantage over Russia with the total population less than 147 million.

A retired three-star Soviet general, who wished not to be named, told PTI that after 1968 border conflict with China, the Soviet General Staff had virtually given up the concept of a conventional war with 'our great Asian neighbour', the new doctrine has publicly stated the stance.

Expansion of NATO closer to the boundaries of Russia, deployment of missile shield elements on the perimeter of its land and maritime borders, international terrorism, proliferation of WMD and growing number of nuclear powers have also been identified as the external threats for the security of the nation.

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