NATO's Head of Nuclear Policy, Jessica Cox, emphasizes the seriousness of Russia's nuclear threats at the Helsinki Security Forum. She underscores the need for NATO's nuclear deterrence policy.
"In Europe, we are entering a period in which the threat of the use of nuclear weapons has increased; We must take all threats and actions from Russia seriously, not dismiss them as jokes", emphasized Jessica Cox, head of NATO's nuclear policy, during her address at the Helsinki Security Forum conference.
A high-ranking NATO official was a guest at the Helsinki Security Forum conference on Saturday.
Cox pointed out the gravity of a scenario involving the first use of nuclear weapons in 70 years, a situation that could alter the course of a conflict to achieve strategic advantages.
"However, we currently see no indication of this happening, even though Russian nuclear forces remain on the highest alert," Cox stated.
She stressed the importance of maintaining NATO's nuclear deterrence policy to mitigate the risk of Russia potentially resorting to nuclear weapons.
Cox also cautioned that if Russia were to win a conflict by brandishing nuclear threats, it could set a perilous precedent that other nations like China or North Korea might exploit.
When asked whether nuclear weapons should be stationed in other European countries, Cox clarified that there were no such plans at the moment, and existing U.S. warheads were deployed in suitable locations. She emphasized that NATO itself does not possess nuclear weapons, while the United States, Great Britain, and France maintain arsenals.
NATO conducts its “Steadfast Noon” nuclear deterrence exercises each autumn, with the specific dates and locations yet to be announced. Last year, these exercises took place in Belgium, Great Britain, and the North Sea.
Cox suggested that Finland, which joined the Alliance in April, might participate in these exercises, even if only as an observer. Participation in such exercises is voluntary for each country.
Russia has persistently raised the specter of nuclear weapon use in its interactions with the West, reminding them of its nuclear capabilities. In late August, Lavrov warned that the United States and NATO allies supporting Ukraine could face the risk of “direct armed confrontation between nuclear powers”.
"We believe that such developments should be prevented. Therefore, we must remind about the existence of high military and political risks and send sobering signals to our opponents", said the Russian politician.
In a separate incident in July, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev asserted that Moscow might resort to nuclear weapons if Ukraine's counteroffensive against Russian forces proved successful.