Putins nuclear threats torn apart despite Bidens Armageddon claim

Russia: Apartment block hit by missile in Belgorod

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The Kremlin on Wednesday scolded Western leaders for engaging in “provocative” nuclear rhetoric after a series of warnings from Russia, the United States and NATO on the dangers of escalating the Ukraine conflict into a nuclear war. Vladimir Putin on September 21 warned the West he was not bluffing when he said he would be ready to use nuclear weapons to defend Russia against what he said was “nuclear blackmail” from major Western powers.

US President Joe Biden cautioned that the world faced the biggest risk of nuclear Armageddon since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.

But Slovakia’s Foreign Minister Rastislav Kacer, a career diplomat who served also in the US, dismissed fears Putin would actually sue a tactical nuclear weapon in Ukraine.

Speaking to Politico, he said: “I don’t think we face immediately, or in the short term, or even in foreseeable sight, the risk of truly nuclear confrontation. There is no intelligence on practical preparations for that.

“We would know when these capabilities were on the move, to be deployed or to be used. And we are not there.”

He added: “Russia will think very carefully and twice whether they will use it because there were clear signs and clear messages passed on that there will be a response.”

NATO is due to hold an annual nuclear preparedness exercise dubbed “Steadfast Noon” next week.

Russia and the United States are by far the biggest nuclear powers: they control about 90 percent of the world’s nuclear warheads.

On Thursday, a Russian Security Council official was quoted as saying that if Ukraine was admitted into NATO military alliance, then the conflict in Ukraine would be guaranteed to escalate into World War Three.

Just hours after Putin formally proclaimed the annexation of up to 18 percent of Ukraine on September 30, President Volodymyr Zelensky announced a surprise bid for fast-track membership of NATO.

READ MORE: EU chief warns Putin army would be ‘annihilated’ after any nuclear hit

Full NATO membership for Ukraine is far off because all the alliance’s 30 members would have to give their consent.

“Kyiv is well aware that such a step would mean a guaranteed escalation to World War Three,” TASS quoted Alexander Venediktov, the deputy secretary of Russia’s Security Council, as saying.

Venediktov, who is deputy to Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev, a powerful Putin ally, said he felt Ukraine’s application was propaganda as the West understood the consequences of Ukrainian membership of NATO.

“The suicidal nature of such a step is understood by NATO members themselves,” he said.

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President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly railed against the United States for driving NATO’s eastward expansion, especially its courting of ex-Soviet republics such as Ukraine and Georgia which Russia regards as part of its own sphere of influence.

Venediktov said Mr Zelensky’s call for preventive strikes against Russia was dangerous, cautioning that nuclear war would have catastrophic consequences for the world.

“We must remember: a nuclear conflict will affect absolutely the whole world, not only Russia and the collective West, but every country on this planet,” Venediktov said. “The consequences would be disastrous for all mankind.”

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