US warns Putin of ‘catastrophic’ consequences if nuclear weapons are used in Ukraine

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The United States would decisively respond to any Russian use of nuclear weapons against Ukraine and explained to Moscow the “catastrophic consequences” it would face, US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said on Sunday.

Sullivan’s comments represented the latest American warning after Vladimir Putin’s veiled nuclear threat on Wednesday, in a speech in which the Russian president also announced his country’s first wartime military deployment since Second World War.

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“If Russia crosses that line, there will be catastrophic consequences for Russia. The United States will respond decisively,” Sullivan told NBC’s “Meet the Press” program.

Sullivan did not describe the nature of the planned U.S. response in his comments on Sunday, but said the United States in particular to Moscow “has clarified in more detail exactly what that would mean.”

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Sullivan said the United States has been in frequent and direct contact with Russia, including during the past few days to discuss the situation in Ukraine and Putin’s actions and threats.

US President Joe Biden, in a speech at the United Nations General Assembly in New York, accused Putin of making “open nuclear threats against Europe” in reckless disregard for nuclear nonproliferation responsibilities.

Russia is also holding a referendum in four regions of eastern Ukraine with the aim of annexing territory that Russian forces took during the invasion of Ukraine launched in February.

Ukraine and its allies called the referendums a hoax designed to justify an escalation of the war and the mobilization of Putin after recent battlefield losses.

By incorporating the Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia areas into Russia, Moscow could portray the attacks to retake them as an attack on Russia itself, a warning to Ukraine and its Western allies.

After suffering setbacks on the battlefield, Putin is mobilizing 300,000 troops and threatening to use “all available means” to protect Russia.

“This is not a bluff,” Putin said in comments seen on the world stage as a threat to the potential use of nuclear weapons.

Sullivan said on Sunday: “Putin remains intent on ending the Ukrainian people he does not believe has a right to exist. So he will keep coming and we have to keep coming with weapons, ammunition, intelligence and all the support we can provide.”

Source: CNN Brasil

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