Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov held a press conference following a meeting with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu.

Russia’s Foreign Minister Blames NATO, West For Nuclear Threat

At a press conference held after talks with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov commented on the threat of a nuclear war.

“I don’t want to believe it and I don’t believe it. I draw your attention to the fact that the nuclear issue in the context of the events that have been unfolding in Ukraine in recent years and have escalated in recent months and weeks, the nuclear issue, this discourse was thrown exclusively by Western representatives, primarily NATO,” Lavrov said, according to Russian state news agency RIA.

Yes, Lavrov blamed NATO for the nuclear talks, however, on February 27, Russian President Putin raised its nuclear forces to a “special regime of combat duty’.

“He is right now threatening a nuclear escalation,” said former DIA intelligence officer Rebekah Koffler. “This a veiled threat – or maybe such a veiled threat – he just met with his chief of general staff and minister of defense. He is escalating the conflict into the nuclear domain in order to de-escalate – that is topple Kyiv’s regime quickly.”

Putin met with his top advisers and said NATO powers had made “aggressive statements” and that the West was imposing hard-hitting financial sanctions against Russia and himself. 

“Western countries aren’t only taking unfriendly actions against our country in the economic sphere, but top officials from leading NATO members made aggressive statements regarding our country,” Putin said in televised comments.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that Putin’s order is an unacceptable escalation. 

“It means that President Putin is continuing to escalate this war in a manner that is totally unacceptable and we have to continue to stem his actions in the strongest possible way,” she said. 

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told CNN, in reaction to Putin’s decision to put Russia’s nuclear forces on high alert: “This is dangerous rhetoric. This is a behavior which is irresponsible.”

If Putin is arming or otherwise raising the nuclear combat readiness of his bombers, or if he is ordering more ballistic missile submarines to sea, then the United States might feel compelled to respond in kind, said Hans Kristensen, a nuclear analyst at the Federation of American Scientists. That would mark a worrisome escalation, he said.

Putin said the “consequences” of any attempt to strike back against the country would provoke a response “never seen in history”.

Broadcasted live on On February 24 at 5.45 am Moscow time, Putin said: “Whoever tries to impede us, let alone create threats for our country and its people, must know that the Russian response will be immediate and lead to the consequences you have never encountered in your history.”

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