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US monitoring Russia’s nuclear capabilities, says ‘have to take Putin’s threats seriously’ | Russia Ukraine Crisis

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John Kirby, Coordinator for Strategic Communications at the NSC in the White House said that US is not change its “strategic deterrent posture.”

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The US is taking Russian President Vladimir Putin’s veiled threats to use nuclear weapons to protect areas in Ukraine “seriously,” asserted a top White House official. John Kirby, the Coordinator for Strategic Communications at the National Security Council in the White House, told BBC News that the US will not change its “strategic deterrent posture.” However, he stressed that Putin made the remarks irresponsibly. Kirby’s statement comes after Putin announced partial mobilization in Russia on Wednesday, 21 September, and also warned that Russia will use “all the means” to defend its territory.


Putin’s statement came a day after Russian-occupied regions in Ukraine announced plans to hold a referendum to join Russia. Kirby called it a “dangerous precedent” for Putin to use the “rhetoric” regarding war which he stressed Russia was “losing.” Speaking to BBC News, Kirby said, “It is a dangerous precedent for Mr Putin to be using this kind of rhetoric in the context of a war clearly that he’s losing inside Ukraine.” He asserted that they need to take the threats of Putin “seriously” and added that they have been monitoring Russia’s nuclear capabilities. In his interview with BBC News, John Kirby said, “We have to take these threats seriously and we do… We’ve been monitoring, as best we can, his nuclear capabilities, I can tell you that we don’t see any indication that we need to change our strategic deterrent posture at this point.” Rejecting Russia’s plans to annex parts of Ukraine, Kirby called them “nothing more than a ploy” by Putin to benefit through “politics and electoral issues”, adding that the Kremlin leader “cannot gain militarily.” 


Putin made ‘overt nuclear threats against Europe’: Biden


On September 21, US President Joe Biden had said that Putin had made “made overt nuclear threats” against Europe and stressed that it showed a “reckless disregard” for the responsibilities of the non-proliferation regime. In his address at the 77th session of UNGA, the POTUS said, “Just today, President Putin has made overt nuclear threats against Europe and a reckless disregard for the responsibilities of the non-proliferation regime.” Referencing Russian President’s announcement, Biden stated that Russia is now calling for additional troops to join the fight and accused Russia of organising a “sham referenda” in an attempt to annex parts of Ukraine. Criticizing Putin in his address at UNGA, he said that Putin had claimed to act as Russia was “threatened” and added that “no one other than Russia sought conflict.” Biden’s remarks came hours after Putin said that Russia will use “all the means at disposal” to defend its territory and asserted that “it’s not a bluff”. 


“Putin claims he had to act because Russia was threatened. But no one threatened Russia, and no one other than Russia sought conflict,” Joe Biden said in his address. 


Image: AP


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