The United States (US) on Sunday warned Russia of ‘catastrophic consequences’ if Moscow uses nuclear weapons in Ukraine. US National Security Adviser (NSA) Jake Sullivan said that if Russia crosses this line, there will be catastrophic consequences for Moscow and that Washington will respond decisively.
The top US security official made these hard-hitting remarks while speaking to NBC. While he did not elaborate as to what he meant by the decisive response, Sullivan said Washington has spelled out to Moscow in greater detail exactly what that would mean. He also said that America has been in direct contact with Russia to discuss the ongoing situation in Ukraine, including the recent threats by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Russia in the recent past suffered massive setbacks after Ukraine carried out counter-attacks and wrested back a chunk of areas held by the Russian troops in the eastern region. The Ukrainians have managed to stall the Russian advances with weapons and intelligence provided by the West led by the US.
After these setbacks, Putin in a televised address ordered a partial mobilization of citizens currently in the reserve and threatened to use “all available means” to protect Russia. “This is not a bluff,” he said in remarks that many considered a threat of nuclear weapons.
The US NSA said Putin thinks that the Ukrainians have no right to exist. “So he is going to keep coming and we have to keep coming with weapons, ammunition, intelligence, and all the support we can provide,” Sullivan said.
Russia has so far taken control of about 15 per cent territory of Ukraine on the eastern side including the industrial hub, Donbas. Moscow is carrying out a referendum in these regions in an attempt to annex the territories.
President Joe Biden on September 23 issued a strong statement saying the US will never recognize Ukrainian territory as anything other than part of Ukraine. He said: “Russia’s referenda are a sham – a false pretext to try to annex parts of Ukraine by force in flagrant violation of international law, including the United Nations Charter.”