NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg reportedly promised that the defensive alliance would not engage in “the same kind of reckless and dangerous nuclear rhetoric” as Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Stoltenberg’s comments were obtained by Reuters editor Alessandra Galloni at the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday. The NATO chief described Putin’s apparent nuclear threat in a televised speech on Wednesday as “dangerous and reckless rhetoric”, according to Reuters.
“The only way to end this war is to prove that President Putin will not win on the battlefield. When he realizes this, he will have to sit down and negotiate a reasonable agreement with Ukraine” , the news agency quoted him as saying.
Putin announced on Wednesday that a partial mobilization will take place in Russia to send additional troops to fight in Ukraine, where counter-offensives in the southern Kherson region and eastern Kharkiv region have supposedly reduced troops Russian forces, equipment and territory under Russian control. The Russian president said the order would only apply to Russian citizens currently in the reserves and those who served in the military with “certain military specialties and relevant experience.”
He also said the mobilization was necessary to “protect Russia’s sovereignty, security and territorial integrity”.
In the same speech, Putin said he was ready to respond to what he called ‘nuclear blackmail’ from the West by using his country’s own weapons, implying that nuclear strikes could be possible. .
He accused senior representatives of NATO countries of discussing the possible use of “weapons of mass destruction – nuclear weapons – against Russia”.
While Putin’s ongoing invasion has yet to spread beyond Ukraine’s borders, fears are growing that the conflict could trigger a larger war between Russia and NATO. Russian state television guests and hosts have repeatedly suggested and even encouraged Russian nuclear strikes against NATO countries.
A Russian TV presenter has said Russia should have launched a nuclear missile at the UK during Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral earlier this week. Another Russian TV personality warned in June that continued NATO support for Ukraine during the war would trigger a “massive nuclear strike” that only the “mutants” would survive.
In a speech to the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday, US President Joe Biden criticized Russia for its “irresponsible nuclear threats to use nuclear weapons” and stressed that nuclear war “cannot be won and should never be conducted”.
Newsweek contacted the Kremlin and NATO for comments.