Russian dictator Vladimir Putin once again threatened the world with the use of nuclear weapons. UNIAN observed how harsh the international reaction to the new ultimatums was.
The speech of the Russian dictator Vladimir Putin and the theses expressed in it are hardly a “revelation” for the world. After all, it was once again about the “aggressive anti-Russian policy of the West”, “threats against Russia and Russians”, “pushing Kyiv to transfer military operations to the territory of the Russian Federation” and so on.
“Nuclear blackmail has also started. It is not only about the shelling of the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, which is threatened by a nuclear disaster, encouraged by the West, but also about the statements of some high-ranking representatives of the leading NATO countries regarding the possibility and admissibility of using weapons of mass destruction – nuclear weapons against Russia… In the event threats to the territorial integrity of our country, to protect Russia and our people, we will definitely use all the means at our disposal. This is not a bluff,” Putin said.
The reaction to it did not take long.
One of the first reactions to the statements of the President of the Russian Federation came from the White House, where the Russians were warned of “severe consequences” in the event of a nuclear strike on Ukraine. Thus, John Kirby, the strategic communications coordinator of the US National Security Council, emphasized that Vladimir Putin’s behavior had changed, so the US took his statements seriously.
“It’s irresponsible to talk about nuclear power in that way, but it’s also atypical in terms of the way he’s been talking over the last seven months. And we take that seriously. We’re closely monitoring their strategic position to change ours if necessary.” , – said Kirby.
In his speech at the UN General Assembly on September 21, US President Joe Biden also spoke about Russia and nuclear weapons: “A permanent member of the UN Security Council invaded a neighboring country – Russia has shamelessly violated the foundations of the UN Charter. Putin has again threatened Europe with nuclear weapons. And now Russia is gathering more more soldiers, Russia is trying to organize a fake referendum… And this is a direct violation of the UN Charter.”
The American leader also emphasized that Russia grossly ignores the regime of non-proliferation of nuclear weapons.
“Regardless of what happens in the world, the United States is ready to take critical measures to control nuclear weapons. The non-proliferation regime is one of the greatest successes of this institution (UN). We cannot allow the world to slide backwards now,” Biden emphasized.
At the same time, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg responded to the Kremlin’s threats with a stern warning: “He (Putin) knows that a nuclear war should never be fought and that it cannot be won, and it will have unprecedented consequences for Russia.”
The former commander of the US forces in Europe, Ben Hodges, also spoke about the probability of a nuclear attack by the Russian Federation. According to him, the USA can respond to Russia with a strike on military bases in the occupied Crimea.
“Perhaps, the US response will not be nuclear, but sufficiently destructive, for example, to destroy the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation or Russian bases in occupied Crimea,” the general said.
A dangerous adventure
In the European Union, according to the report Reuters, Vladimir Putin’s delusions forced an urgent meeting of foreign ministers. The representative of the European Commission on foreign policy, Peter Stano, said that the Russian president is playing a very “dangerous nuclear adventure”.
“Putin is playing a nuclear gamble. He is using a nuclear element as part of his arsenal of terror. This is unacceptable,” Stano said.
Most reactions to Russian nuclear blackmail came from British government officials. In particular, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Great Britain, Gillian Keegan, called Putin’s statements an alarming escalation. And British Defense Minister Ben Wallace emphasized that the statement of the Russian dictator is an acknowledgment of the failure of the invasion of Ukraine.
“No threats and propaganda can hide the fact that now Ukraine is winning the war, the international community is united, and Putin is becoming a global pariah,” the British minister said.
According to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Latvia, Edgars Rinkevičs, today the world should direct its efforts to support Ukraine, without succumbing to Putin’s blackmail.
“But Russia today is as dangerous for Europe and the world as Nazi Germany was in the last century,” said Rinkevichs.
The real indignation was caused by the threats voiced from the Kremlin in the Vatican. However, Pope Francis, calling the thoughts of “some” about nuclear failure “madness”, did not say the word “Russia” or the word “Putin”: “…In this tragic war, some are thinking about nuclear weapons, which is simply madness…”.
Don’t let the nuke button be pressed
“Ukrainian Prism” expert Oleksandr Krayev points out that after Putin’s statements about nuclear weapons, US President Joe Biden’s speech at the UN General Assembly could have been changed. Therefore, it is logical to expect that the reaction to Russia’s actions will be harsh.
“If we paint an idealistic picture, there should be a statement regarding the review of Russia’s membership status in the UN. Perhaps we should also wait for a statement about the transition of the US to a new level and readiness of the armed forces. But one way or another, at least, we expect tougher rhetoric and greater sanctions. And as a maximum — the transition of the USA to a new level of defense and a call for the exclusion of the Russian Federation from the UN,” he notes.
“After the verbal raising of Russian stakes, Western countries will no longer have any arguments about not providing Ukraine with operational-tactical missiles, tanks, aircraft, and long-range attack drones. That is, everything except weapons of mass destruction and those types prohibited by the Geneva Conventions (although the Russian Federation already uses them on the territory of Ukraine). And in the Russian Federation, the season of burned military commissars will begin…”, – notes the ex-ambassador of Ukraine to the USA Valery Chaly.
According to Yulia Osmolovska, an expert of GLOBSEC’s “Ukraine and Eastern Europe” program, the reaction of world leaders to Putin’s statement about the possibility of using nuclear weapons is only a “reassuring message” for citizens in Europe. But this does not mean that world leaders are not aware of the real threat, because no one can predict Putin’s actions.
“European politicians are very sensitive to the mood of the population. And the start of a world war with the use of nuclear weapons is exactly the threat that scares citizens in the EU. The fact that they publicly declare that they are allegedly not afraid of a nuclear threat and consider it only blackmail and bluffing is a message to the public from a panicky mood. It is an illusion, because in reality no one can predict Putin’s actions. It is possible that the correct messages were definitely proven through informal communication channels, what will be done by the Western partners in the event that he dares to take such actions.” , she noted.
That is, world leaders not only express concern and voice warnings to the Kremlin, but must already plan measures to prevent nuclear strikes by Russia.
“I think this is quite serious planning with the probability of various scenarios to prevent such an act. It could even be planned special operations using people from Putin’s entourage,” says Yulia Osmolovska.
“With his speech, especially nuclear blackmail, Putin encouraged even those who doubted to make up their minds,” adds the ex-representative of Ukraine to the EU, Konstantin Eliseyev. “.