A senior European Union official has warned that if Russian President Vladimir Putin used nuclear weapons in Ukraine, the Russian military would be “annihilated” by the West.
“Any nuclear attack on Ukraine will produce an answer. Not a nuclear answer, but a very strong military answer that will wipe out the Russian army,” European Union High Representative Josep Borrell said. Stated. said Thursday. “This is a momentous moment in history and we must show unity, strength and determination. Be determined.”
In a speech last month, Putin said he was “not bluffing” and would defend Russia’s “territorial integrity of the Motherland” by “all means at our disposal”. He did not specifically mention nuclear weapons. But other Russian officials said such weapons could be used.
Despite the threats implied, U.S. officials said last week there was no clear evidence that the Kremlin would launch a nuclear weapon.U.S. President Joe Biden warned that the world is facing the biggest nuclear crisis since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. He said he was facing the risk of nuclear Armageddon.
“good, [Putin] You can’t afford to bluff. And those who support Ukraine, the European Union and member states, and the United States and NATO also need to make it clear that they are not bluffing,” Borrell said.
‘We don’t want a world war’
His comments came hours after a more muted comment from French President Emmanuel Macron. I have written “We don’t want a world war,” he said on Twitter.
France’s nuclear “doctrine is based on the fundamental interests of the state,” Macron said. Said French news outlet on Thursday. “They are well defined and, for example, a ballistic nuclear attack in Ukraine in this region would have no direct consequences at all.”
Macron added: “Today, first of all, Vladimir Putin must stop this war, respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity, and return to the negotiating table. “At some point … it will be necessary. I tell you deaf [for Kyiv to negotiate with Russia]That’s why I’ve always rejected the maximalist position. “
But Macron said France would supply Ukrainian forces with air defense systems following a series of airstrikes in eastern European counties earlier this week following bridge bombings in Crimea.
“We will provide radars, systems and missiles … to protect them from these attacks,” Macron told local media, adding that six Caesar mobile artillery units could also be sent to Ukraine. rice field.
In addition to nuclear tensions, senior Russian Security Council official Aleksandr Venediktov said the domestic conflict would escalate to World War III if Ukraine joined NATO.
On September 30, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced a surprise attempt to expedite Ukraine’s application for NATO membership. Ukraine’s full NATO membership is a long way off, as all 30 members of the alliance, including Turkey, will need to give their consent.
“Kyiv is fully aware that such a step would mean a sure escalation to World War III,” Benediktov told TASS. “NATO members themselves understand that such a step leads to suicide,” he said.
Reuters contributed to this report.