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Russia on Tuesday again escalated the threat of nuclear war in the midst of its illegal campaign in Ukraine, claiming that Kyiv, with US support, is developing nuclear weapons.
“The need for demilitarization is due to the fact that Ukraine, which is saturated with weapons, poses a threat to Russia, including from a point of view on the development and use of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons,” said Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai. Patrushev, said according to state-owned news agencies.
PENTAGON DOUBLES HOPE TO SEE A ‘WEAKENED’ RUSSIA AFTER WAR IN UKRAINE
The Kremlin has previously claimed without evidence that Ukraine is developing a nuclear weapon, but it escalated its accusations this week after Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said the threat of nuclear conflict “is real”.
“The danger is serious,” Lavrov told Russian media. “It’s real. It should not be underestimated.”
Last month, the UN’s nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, said there was no evidence that Ukraine was developing nuclear weapons.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Ukraine in 1994 agreed to give Russia all the nuclear warheads left in the former Soviet state in exchange for security guarantees, and by 1996 the country had handed over all nuclear weapons.
AUSTIN calls the threat of nuclear weapons used in UKRAINE ‘VERY DANGEROUS AND UNHELPING’
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dymtro Kuleba said Lavrov’s comments were a last-ditch effort to “scare the world from supporting Ukraine”, as Moscow has not achieved any military victories over the country despite more than 60 days of fighting.
“This only means that Moscow senses defeat in Ukraine,” he said in a post on Twitter. “Therefore, the world must double in supporting Ukraine so that we win and protect European and global security.”
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While Britain’s Armed Forces Minister James Heappey dismissed the comments as “bravado”, the United States called the comments “dangerous and inappropriate.”
“I think it’s very dangerous and inappropriate that it’s very dangerous and inappropriate,” Austin told reporters Tuesday. “No one wants to see a nuclear war, no one can win it.”
Patrushev once again argued that Russia’s “special military operation” in eastern Ukraine should liberate it from “neo-Nazis,” whom he claimed were “created by Western efforts.”