The US policy of putting pressure on Russia has crossed the “red line,” and Moscow should think about an asymmetric response, such as the deployment of its tactical nuclear weapons abroad, a senior Russian lawmaker told TASS on Friday.
“I believe that now Russia has to draw its own ‘red lines.’ The time has come to ponder on variants of asymmetric response to the US, which are now being suggested by experts and are intended not only to offset their sanctions but also to do some retaliatory damage,” said Vladimir Gutenev, the first deputy head of the economic policy committee of the State Duma, the lower chamber of the Russian parliament.
Among such measures, the official named the deployment of Russian tactical nuclear weapons in other countries, such as Syria, the use of gold-linked cryptocurrencies for Russian arms exports and the suspension of a number of treaties with the United States, including on non-proliferation of missile technologies.
“It’s no secret that serious pressure is being put on Russia, and it will only get worse. It is intended to deal a blow to defense cooperation, including defense exports. We see that the Americans now speak about the possibility of sanctions against the countries that purchase Russian weaponry… We should follow the advice of certain experts, who say that Russia should possibly suspend the implementation of treaties on non-proliferation of missile technologies, and also follow the US example and start deploying our tactical nuclear weapons in foreign countries. It is possible that Syria, where we have a well-protected airbase, may become one of those countries,” Gutenev said.
The lawmaker added that in order to respond to possible “US attempts to thwart deals on Russian weaponry and civilian goods,” Russia should “consider the possibility of conducting transactions in cryptocurrencies that are linked to the value of gold.”
“And I’m sure that this will be a very interesting option for China, India, and other states as well,” he said.
According to Gutenev, the whole package of those measures “could become a very serious argument” in Russia’s favor.
“In boxing, one cannot just dodge blows, but has to strike in response, too. Especially when all the rules have been violated and the referees – such as the WTO and other international institutions – prefer to stay silent,” he said.
Commenting on sanctions that are already in place, Gutenev said they are unlikely to do serious damage to Russia’s defense industry.
“The import substitution program has produced very good results, alternative suppliers have been found,” he said. “However, we are concerned about the fact that the sanctions are still gaining momentum and have become somewhat imminent,” he said.
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