Russian President Vladimir Putin is “highly unlikely” to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine as it would be unacceptable to Moscow’s allies India and China, UK’s Defense Secretary Ben Wallace claimed on Sunday. However, he warned that the head of the Russian Federation has not been acting in a “rational” way and chances are high that the situation might steer for worse.
Putin, during a state television address, had threatened to use “all the means at our disposal” to protect Russian Federation. His speech was laden with signs that he could use tactical nuclear weapons in response to attacks on the four territories of Ukraine that Moscow recently annexed. During a fringe meeting at the Tory party conference, Wallace stressed that he did not believe that Putin may launch nukes despite the use of nuclear weapons being incorporated in the Russian military doctrine.
Putin “was given a very clear sense of what is acceptable and unacceptable” during his meetings with the Indian and Chinese leaderships on the sidelines of the 2022 SCO summit, Wallace iterated. He, although, added that the Russian leader’s actions have been irrational and can’t be trusted. He referenced the nerve agent attack in Salisbury and the recent invasion of Ukraine as clear examples. Meanwhile, UK’s Chief of the Defence Staff Admiral Tony Radakin said in an interview with the British newspaper Telegraph that Russia could use space-based advanced weaponry to target Western infrastructure, as he indicated that Putin was now a long-term threat to Britain.
Russia “has capabilities in space,” Radakin told the paper, echoing Ben Wallace’s concerns.
“We saw an example of that at the tail end of last year when Russia exploded an object in space which created immense debris. Russia has nuclear capabilities, Russia has underwater capabilities,” he added, refering to Russian anti-satellite missile that took out old Soviet reconnaissance satellite in space.
Russia’s direct threat’ to UK & allies
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace had earlier made more blatant remarks against Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, saying that he is a “most direct and urgent threat” to the UK and its allies. Wallace also noted that the offensive Russia launched in Ukraine, could well go beyond those borders. Russia could challenge other parts of Europe militarily, Wallace iterated, adding that President Putin is a “very real danger.”
Distance no longer provides protection to the UK, said Wallace, as large missiles and covert operations exist in the present time. UK’s Defense Minister appealed to the British government to up the funding for the UK’s armed forces, and ramp up the military budget to 2.5% of GDP by 2028. Britain currently spends around 2% of its GDP on its defence. Wallace also lambasted the world leaders, who he stated, “sit on the fence” with Putin and do not oppose the war. Russian President will “in the end eat the fence and then eat you,” UK’s Defense Minister said during a speech he made while visiting Bratislava in Slovakia.