EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell has warned Russia that its army would be "annihilated" by the US-led military alliance if uses nuclear weapons against Ukraine, while the Kremlin has advised Washington of its nuclear “red line”.
Russian President Vladimir Putin last month hinted at being willing to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine. The Russian leader called up to 300,000 reservists to aid Russia and threatened to use the country’s nuclear weapons in face of the US-led aggression against his country.
“This is not a bluff,” Putin said. “And those who try to blackmail us with nuclear weapons should know that the weathervane can turn and point towards them.”
Speaking on Thursday at the opening of a Diplomatic Academy in Belgium, Borrell said, "Putin is saying he is not bluffing. Well, he cannot afford bluffing, and it has to be clear that the people supporting Ukraine and the European Union and the Member States, and the United States and NATO are not bluffing neither.”
"Any nuclear attack against Ukraine will create an answer, not a nuclear answer but such a powerful answer from the military side that the Russian Army will be annihilated," Borrell added.
Last week, former CIA director and retired US army general David Petraeus said that the United States would destroy Russia’s troops and equipment in Ukraine and sink its Black Sea fleet if it carried out a nuclear attack in the country.
“Just to give you a hypothetical, we would respond by leading a NATO – a collective – effort that would take out every Russian conventional force that we can see and identify on the battlefield in Ukraine and also in Crimea and every ship in the Black Sea,” he told ABC News.
Petraeus said the use of nuclear weapons by Russia in Ukraine would not trigger NATO’s Article 5, which calls for the collective defense of NATO because Ukraine is not part of NATO.
However, he acknowledged that the likelihood that radiation would extend to NATO countries under the Article 5 umbrella could perhaps be construed as an attack on a NATO member.
US President Joe Biden warned Putin against thoughts of using nuclear weapons in Ukraine, adding that it would “change the face of war unlike anything since WWII.”
Biden said Moscow would become a global pariah if it uses weapons of mass destruction on the former Soviet state.
In response to Biden's warning, Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov gave reporters this short answer, "Read the doctrine. Everything is written there," RIA Novosti reported.
The Russian nuclear doctrine allows the country to use nukes under two conditions. First, when "Russia or its ally [is under attack] with the use of mass destruction weapons," and second, "when the very existence of the state is under threat."
New York-based journalist Don DeBar said in an interview with Press TV that “this is a bunch of nonsense, and highly disingenuous.”
“Russia is not about to collapse in Ukraine, whatsoever. The US is trying to create a narrative, based on a couple of tactical retreats, that scares the life out of me, because it sounds like they intend to set off a small nuclear device in Ukraine, blame it on Moscow and use it as an excuse to make complete war on Russia,” he stated.
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