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Russia and the prohibition on threatening to use nuclear weapons

BLOG POST: The statement by Dimitri Medvedev on 27 September 2022 that Russia had the right to defend itself with nuclear weapons if pushed beyond its limits, including to defend annexed territory in Ukraine, and that this was “certainly not a bluff” raises interesting—as well as disturbing—questions under international law. On the face of it, the statement violates both the UN Charter and the terms of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

NWBM Russian ICBM test
This photo taken from video provided by the Russian Defense Ministry Press Service on Feb. 19, 2022, shows a Yars intercontinental ballistic missile being launched from an air field during military drills. Photo: Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP, NTB Scanpix