Published On: Thu, Mar 14th, 2024

West fires back at Putin’s ‘reckless’ nuclear threats as Russia-NATO conflict fears soar | World | News

The West has hit back at Vladimir Putin’s “reckless” nuclear threats after the Russian despot vowed to use the weapons if Moscow felt threatened.

Adrienne Watson, spokesperson for the White House National Security Council, said in a statement that: “Russia’s nuclear rhetoric has been reckless and irresponsible throughout this conflict.”

She added: “It is Russia that brutally invaded Ukraine without provocation or justification, and we will continue to support Ukraine as they defend their people and their sovereign territory from Russian aggression.”

The comment is the latest in a war of words between NATO and Russia as tensions soar over the war in Ukraine.

President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday that Russia is ready to use nuclear weapons if its sovereignty or independence is threatened, issuing another blunt warning to the West just days before an election in which he’s all but certain to secure another six-year term.

The Russian leader has repeatedly talked about his readiness to use nuclear weapons since launching a full-scale invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022.

The most recent such threat came in his state-of-the-nation address last month when he warned the West that deepening its involvement in the fighting in Ukraine would risk a nuclear war.

Asked in an interview with Russian state television released early Wednesday if he has ever considered using battlefield nuclear weapons in Ukraine, Putin responded that there has been no need for that.

He also noted that he doesn’t think that the world is heading for a nuclear war, describing US President Joe Biden as a veteran politician who fully understands the possible dangers of escalation.

When asked for UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ reaction to Putin’s remarks, spokesman Stéphane Dujarric said that “all rhetoric that could lead to miscalculation or escalation with obvious catastrophic consequences for the world must be avoided.”

Putin’s comments appeared to be a message to the West that he’s prepared to use all means to protect his gains in Ukraine.

He said that in line with the country’s security doctrine, Moscow is ready to use nuclear weapons in case of a threat to “the existence of the Russian state, our sovereignty and independence.”

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