Russia would launch a pre-emptive nuclear strike if the West provided Ukraine with nuclear weapons, Russian Security Council Deputy Chairman and former president Dmitry Medvedev said on Friday.
Russia's state news agency RIA Novosti quoted Medvedev saying that "in case the West provides Ukraine with the nuclear weapon, we will have to make a pre-emptive strike."
"The more destructive the weapons supplied to Kiev, the more likely a nuclear apocalypse scenario," Medvedev added in comments made to reporters while on a trip to Vietnam.
Russian state media outlet Tass cited Medvedev as saying "the Anglo-Saxons are not fully aware of this and believe that it will not come to this," adding that "it will come, under certain conditions."
The TASS article stated that Medvedev was commenting on the expanding range of weapons that NATO countries have pledged to send to Ukraine, when he said "maybe they will give nuclear weapons."
He then warned, "but then it will mean that a missile with a nuclear charge will arrive at them."
Some context: The US and its allies have not suggested they would provide nuclear weapons to Ukraine. NATO has decried Russian President Vladimir Putin's nuclear rhetoric and warned of "severe consequences for Russia" if any such weapons were used.