US President Joe Biden cast aspersions over his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin’s comment that he was not planning to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine where his country’s forces have been engaged in an eight-month-long war.
If he has no intention, why does he keep talking about it? Why is he talking about the ability to use a tactical nuclear weapon?” Biden was quoted as saying in an interview with a local publication. “He’s been very dangerous in how he’s approached this,” Biden added.
Biden’s statement came in the backdrop of repeated yet thinly veiled warnings by Putin on the possible use of nuclear weapons since he invaded Ukraine – a move criticised by the West and responded with punitive sanctions.
A day ago, Putin appeared to backtrack on this and said he had no intentions of using nuclear weapons in Ukraine. He insisted that he had only responded to nuclear “blackmail” from Western leaders. “We see no need for that,” Putin said. “There is no point in that, neither political, nor military.”
He alleged the conflict was part of alleged efforts by the West to secure its global domination, which, he insisted, were doomed to fail.
In recent weeks, Putin had said Russia would use ‘all available means’ to protect its territory in remarks that were majorly interpreted in the West as threats to use nuclear weapons to defend parts of Ukraine that Russia claims to have annexed.
Shortly after announcing “special military operations” in Ukraine on February 24, Moscow had said it was placing Russian nuclear forces on high alert, renewing fears of a major escalation in the war.