Russia’s upper house of parliament has provided a non-binding recommendation to the National Security Council to change its rules on nuclear weapons.
The rulebook is updated once every few years and was last changed in 2014.
The current doctrine has provisions for nuclear responses if there is a “risk to statehood” but the latest recommendation calls for more precise wording.
Recommended changes to the requirements include references to hypersonic weapons which are not currently in use.
Russia and China are the two countries believed to be aggressively pursuing research in this field.
Hypersonic weapons travel at least five times faster than the speed of sound and are currently in development.
Currently there are no effective defence systems against hypersonic weapons, which when they are functional will be able to fly at altitudes of up to 100,000 feet.
Agencies contributed to this report
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