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US official: Pressure on Putin over nukes forces him to change war tactics

by The Kyiv Independent news desk December 3, 2022 10:32 PM 1 min read
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U.S. Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland said in Kyiv that the warnings from other states convinced Russian dictator Vladimir Putin that the reaction to the use of nuclear weapons by Moscow would be unprecedented and difficult for Russia.

“You have seen that not only the U.S. but other G7 members have been reaching out to the Kremlin with signals that it is absolutely unacceptable and irresponsible to throw this around,” Nuland said.

Russia made itself a pariah, Nuland said, adding that the Western counties jointly explained to Russia that the use of nuclear weapons would have a response and consequences of an incomparable level.

“After that, Russia moved to a fundamentally different weapon, launching attacks on energy infrastructure,” Nuland said, adding that the tactics chosen by Russian forces instead are also absolutely unacceptable.

On Oct. 2, U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said that he had privately conveyed to Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu not to use nukes.

U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan on Sept. 26 said that President Joe Biden’s administration had privately communicated with the Kremlin regarding the “decisive” response of the U.S. and other Western allies if Russia uses nuclear weapons.

“We have been clear and specific about what that will entail,” Sullivan said.

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