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NATO chief: Use of chemical weapons by Russia would violate international law

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NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Sunday that any use of chemical weapons by Russia in Ukraine would be considered a “blatant and brutal violation of international law.” 

“So any use of chemical weapons would be a blatant and brutal violation of international law, the ban on the use of chemical weapons,” Stoltenberg told moderator Chuck Todd on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “At the same time we know that Russia has used chemical agents in Europe before, against their own political opponents and Russia has been facilitating and supporting the Assad regime in Syria, where chemical weapons has been used.” 

“[W]e are very much aware of that we need to act in a way that prevents this conflict from going from being a very bloody, ugly, horrific conflict in Ukraine to something that turns out to be a full fledged war between NATO and Russia, in Europe, and also potentially involving, of course, the United States directly,” Stoltenberg added.

This comes as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which began last month, has led to a series of international sanctions being leveled against Moscow. U.S. companies in a variety of sectors have also moved to end business with Russia.

During an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union,” U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield told host Jake Tapper that allied forces will “respond aggressively” if Russian forces use chemical weapons on Ukrainian residents. 

“And we are concerned that they may use chemical weapons in Ukraine. We have been clear, if they escalate to this level, we will respond aggressively to what they are doing,” Thomas-Greenfield told Tapper.

Tags . Russia-Ukraine conflict Chuck Todd Jake Tapper Jens Stoltenberg Linda Thomas-Greenfield NATO NBC News Ukraine
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