Russian diplomat: If NATO threatens us we have the right to press the nuclear button

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The Russian deputy ambassador to the UN says Russia retains the right to use nuclear weapons if the country is “provoked” by NATO.

Dmitry Polyanskiy, one of Russia’s top diplomats in the United States, spoke to Sky News after Vladimir Putin’s spokesman said his boss could push the nuclear button if the country feels it is facing an “existential” threat.

Asked if Putin was right to hold the prospect of nuclear war over the rest of the world, Mr Polyanskiy said: “If Russia is provoked by NATO, if Russia is attacked by NATO, why not, we are a nuclear power.

“I don’t think it’s the right thing to be saying. But it’s not the right thing to threaten Russia, and to try to interfere. So when you’re dealing with a nuclear power, of course, you have to calculate all the possible outcomes of your behaviour.”

Dmitry Polyanskiy, first deputy permanent representative of Russia to the United Nations,. EPA-EFE/JOHN MINCHILLO / POOL

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