Russian Armored Vehicles - Photo by Vitaly V. Kuzmin

Russia named NATO’s military buildup near its border as the main military threat and raised the possibility of using precision conventional weapons as a “strategic deterrent,” according to the nation’s new military doctrine signed by President Vladimir Putin Friday.

NATO flatly denied it was a threat to Russia, and accused Russia of undermining European security.

The new doctrine, which comes amid Russia-West tensions over Ukraine, maintains the provisions of the previous, 2010 edition of the military doctrine regarding the use of nuclear weapons.

It says Russia could use nuclear weapons in retaliation to the use of nuclear or other weapons of mass destruction against it or its allies, and also in case of aggression involving conventional weapons that “threatens the very existence” of the Russian state.

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