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Biden: Threat of Russia using tactical nuclear weapons is 'real'

by Martin Fornusek and The Kyiv Independent news desk June 20, 2023 9:33 AM 2 min read
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks in Philadelphia on March 9, 2023.
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks about his proposed Federal budget for the fiscal year 2024 at the Finishing Trades Institute in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on March 9, 2023. (Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)
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The threat of (Russia's dictator Vladimir) Putin using tactical nuclear weapons is "real," U.S. President Joe Biden told a group of donors, as reported by Reuters on June 20.

"When I was out here about two years ago saying I worried about the Colorado River drying up, everybody looked at me like I was crazy," Biden said, as cited by Reuters. "They looked at me like when I said I worry about Putin using tactical nuclear weapons. It's real."

Putin proclaimed on June 16 that the first Russian tactical nuclear weapons had been stationed in Belarus.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and his Belarusian counterpart Viktor Khrenin first signed an agreement on placing Russian non-strategic nuclear weapons on Belarusian territory on May 26.

Shoigu reportedly said during the meeting between the two that control over the weaponry would remain with Moscow.

The agreement has been largely condemned by the West for violating the International Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, as well as for escalating Russia's unprovoked war of aggression on Ukraine.

The Pentagon has said, however, that while it continues to monitor the situation, it does not see any reason to adjust its own strategic nuclear posture as it has not received any indication Russia plans to use the nuclear weapons stationed in Belarus.

Ukraine's Ambassador to the United Kingdom Vadym Prystaiko nevertheless said that Russia's nuclear threat should be taken "very seriously."

Russia tries to conceal its dwindling nuclear stockpile
The main rule of Russia’s power diplomacy says: If something goes wrong with their war effort in Ukraine, reach for the nuclear intimidation card. That’s what the Kremlin did two months ago, when Vladimir Putin announced Russia would “suspend” its participation in the New START, the only remaining…
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