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Foreign ministry of Russia on Thursday said that Moscow would only use its nuclear arsenal in "emergency circumstances" and that it not interested in a direct confrontation with NATO and the United States.

On Tuesday, Russia's defence minister had said that Moscow has "no need" to use nuclear weapons during its military campaign in Ukraine. He was responding to a media speculation that Moscow might deploy nuclear or chemical weapons in the conflict, calling it an "absolute lies".

Ivan Nechaev, spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry while speaking at a briefing on Thursday, said nuclear weapons would be used solely as a "response" measure.

He added, "Russian military doctrine allows a nuclear response only in response to the threat of mass destruction, or when the very existence of the state is threatened... That is, the use of a nuclear arsenal is possible only as part of a response to an attack in self-defence and only in emergencies."

Earlier today, Russia and Ukraine accused each other of planning a "provocation" citing the shelling at Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant. The plant, near front lines, has come under fire repeatedly in recent week.

Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelenskiy, who discussed the situation at the plant with visiting U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in Lviv, called on the United Nations to ensure that it was demilitarised and protected.

Russia's foreign ministry rejected a proposal by U.N. Secretary General to demilitarise the area around the Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine, saying it would make the facility "more vulnerable".

Referring to the situation at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy wrote, "This deliberate terror on the part of the aggressor can have global catastrophic consequences for the whole world," on the Telegram messaging app.

The power station sits on the Russian-controlled south bank of a huge reservoir; Ukrainian forces hold the north bank.

The war has killed thousands and forced millions to flee. Moscow says its aim is to demilitarise Ukraine and protect Russian-speakers on land President Vladimir Putin says historically belongs to Russia.

Kyiv and the West call it an unprovoked war to conquer Ukraine and erase its thousand-year national identity.


 

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