Biden urges Putin not to use tactical nuclear weapons in Ukraine: UKTN

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – US President Joe Biden urged Russian President Vladimir Putin not to use tactical nuclear or chemical weapons after the setbacks in Ukraine, in a UKTN News interview aired Sunday.

The Ukrainian army this week pushed back Russian troops in a lightning diversion in the northeast of the country, putting Putin under pressure from nationalists at home to regain the initiative.

Putin has warned that Moscow would react more vigorously if his troops were put under further pressure, and he was concerned that at some point he could use unconventional means, such as small nuclear or chemical weapons.

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Asked by a 60 Minutes reporter what he would say to Putin if he considers using such weapons, Biden said, “Don’t. Two,” in a clip from the interview released Saturday by UKTN.

Biden said the US response would be “consistent”, but declined to provide details. Russia “would become more of a pariah in the world than they have ever been,” Biden said. “Depending on the magnitude of what they do will determine what reaction would occur.”

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Russian government officials have rejected Western suggestions that Moscow would use tactical nuclear weapons in Ukraine, but it remains a concern for some in the West.

In a speech announcing the February 24 invasion of Ukraine, Putin issued a veiled but unmistakable warning that if the West intervened in what he called a “special military operation,” he could use nuclear weapons in response.

“No matter who tries to stand in our way or… creates threats to our country and our people, they need to know that Russia will respond immediately and the consequences will be like never before in all your history.” seen,” he said. said, according to a Kremlin translation.

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Other choices for Putin could include mobilizing Russia’s reserves, which number about 2 million, and pressuring Europe to heavily arm Ukraine into a ceasefire with Russia, by freezing the region this winter from all energy exports. to ban.

(Reporting by Timothy Gardner; editing by Leslie Adler)

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