22 October 2018, 15:07
Peskov: Putin's remark about heaven and hell was allegory
Moscow, October 22, Interfax - The remark made by Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Valdai Club about aggressors who would go to hell and martyrs who would go to heaven was an allegory: the main idea is that the Russian nuclear-weapon doctrine does not envisage a preemptive strike, presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov said.
"Mostly, it was not about heaven or who goes where. The main thing was, and many missed it, that Russia does not reserve the right to a preemptive strike on the level of doctrine," Peskov told the press on Monday when asked to explain the remark.
The Russian nuclear-arms doctrine "does not envisage the right to the first strike," he said.
"We do not think we have the right to deliver the first strike. However, our doctrine says that Russia has the right to use nuclear weapons if - option A - we are attacked by means of nuclear weapons or - option B - if the attack endangers the very existence of our state," Peskov said.
This is what Putin said at the plenary session of the Valdai Club, but he used "more concise language," Peskov said.
"We will never be the first to attack anyone. This is what the president said. But if they attack us, some will go to hell, others to heaven, etc. This is the key idea, which is important to understand. All the rest is an allegory," he said.
Putin said on October 18 that Russia is only prepared to use nuclear weapons if it is sure that an aggressor is delivering a strike and that the Russian nuclear-weapons doctrine does not envisage a preemptive strike.