US ambassador not surprised by Putin’s threat of nuclear deterrence
Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said on Sunday that she is not surprised by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s apparent threats of nuclear deterrence in response to the international condemnation for invading Ukraine.
Thomas-Greenfield was asked during an appearance on CBS’s “Face the Nation” about Putin’s order earlier Sunday to put Russia’s nuclear deterrent forces on high alert.
“It means that President Putin is continuing to escalate this war in a manner that is totally unacceptable, and we have to continue to condemn his actions in the strongest possible way,” said Thomas-Greenfield.
“Our voices have been unified with the Europeans and with the world that he needs to cease his aggressive actions toward Ukraine,” Thomas-Greenfield added. “And we will continue here at the United Nations and around the world to use every possible lever we have at our disposal to expose his actions.”
Host Margaret Brennan also asked the ambassador whether she believes the rhetoric from Putin is “loose talk” or if there is a readiness that was cause for concern.
“I’m just hearing this from you, Margaret, but I’m not surprised at this information because Putin has tried every means possible to actually put fear in the world in terms of his action, and it just means that we have to ramp up our efforts here at the United Nations and elsewhere to hold him accountable,” said Thomas-Greenfield.
In his announcement, Putin cited supposed threats from NATO for his decision to put Russia’s nuclear deterrents on high alert.
“Senior officials of the leading NATO countries also allow aggressive statements against our country, therefore I order the minister of Defense and the chief of the general staff [of the Russian armed forces] to transfer the deterrence forces of the Russian army to a special mode of combat duty,” Putin said, according to The Guardian.
“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,” he added.
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