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Rybkin Reasserts Moscow's Right To Use Nuclear Weapons

Moscow Radiostantsiya Ekho Moskvy 13 May 97

Today Russia once again reiterated its right to use nuclear weapons. This is what Russian Security Council Secretary Ivan Rybkin told our radio station.

[Begin Rybkin recording] We received a response to our concept today. The Washington Post newspaper says quite clearly that the Russians have at last responded appropriately, without hypocrisy, to us. We have had our concept of national security for a long time, just like other countries have their concepts. Otherwise, it does not make any sense. If something exists it should continue to exist as a sort of an answer which no one ever makes public, since the very uncertainty of a response is the most important restraining element.

We are not threatening anyone. But if terrible damage is done to our country through the use of biological, bacteriological, and other kinds of weapons, we will naturally hit back with everything we have got. This is our right. [end recording]

Regarding the NATO-Russia treaty, Rybkin said that the treaty should be signed. He said that the world will not collapse if the treaty is not signed on 2 May [date as heard], I quote him, but it would be best if the world were based on the treaties, taking into account the interests of all sides.

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