In recent days, Russian President Vladimir Putin has raised the tension of the war by voting in favor of annexation in parts of Ukraine that Russia has occupied, and saying he would consider using “every available means” in defense of his country, Politico collects .
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin believes President Vladimir Putin will continue to suggest he might use nuclear weapons in Russia’s war with Ukraine.
“There are no checks on Mr. Putin,” Austin said Sunday in an interview with CNN . “Just as he made the irresponsible decision to invade Ukraine, he could make another decision. But I don’t see anything right now that would lead me to believe this extreme.”
However, David Petraeus, former director of the CIA, also told ABC News yesterday that the United States and its allies would destroy Russia’s troops and equipment in Ukraine, as well as sink its fleet in the Black Sea, if Putin uses nuclear weapons in the country.
Although Petraeus said he had not spoken to national security adviser Jake Sullivan about the US response, he said “we would respond by leading a collective NATO effort that would eliminate all conventional Russian forces.”
For his part, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has also warned of “serious consequences for Russia” if Putin were to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine.
“Nuclear rhetoric is dangerous. It’s reckless,” Stoltenberg told NBC yesterday .
Any use of nuclear weapons would “change the nature” of the Ukraine conflict, he added.
“A nuclear war cannot be won and should never be fought. And this is a message that NATO and NATO allies clearly convey to Russia,” she said.