Biden answered the question about the consequences for Russia in case it uses nuclear weapons
U.S. President Joe Biden, in an interview on CBS’s “60 Minutes,” commented on the possibility that Russian authorities might use weapons of mass destruction in connection with the war in Ukraine.
“As the Ukrainian army makes progress on the battlefield, Vladimir Putin may feel cornered. And in that regard, I wonder what you would say to him about the use of chemical weapons or tactical nuclear weapons?” – Scott Pelley asked Biden.
“Don’t do that,” Joe Biden repeated three times, referring to his answer. He added that he would also tell Putin that such actions would “change the face of the war like nothing since World War II.”
Asked by Pelly about the consequences if Russian President Vladimir Putin crossed that line, the White House chief said there would be consequences, but what exactly, he could not say. “They will become more of a pariah in the world than ever before. And depending on what they do will determine the likely response,” the U.S. president added at the same time.
Russian media later circulated a comment by Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov. In response to a question from RIA Novosti about whether Russia could use this type of weaponry, Peskov suggested reading the country’s military doctrine.
At the very beginning of the full-scale military invasion of Ukraine, Vladimir Putin ordered that the Russian army’s deterrent forces be put on special alert. The reason for the decision was cited as “aggressive statements” by top NATO officials towards Russia.
In the months that followed, Western intelligence experts said they saw no change in the operation of Russian nuclear forces.
Earlier this week, the Joe Biden administration announced an additional six hundred million dollars in military aid to Kiev. Since the war in Ukraine began in late February, Washington has sent more than $15 billion in defense and security aid to Kiev.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Thursday that Moscow would see it as crossing a “red line” if the U.S. starts supplying Ukraine with longer-range missiles. Washington now supplies Kiev with missiles capable of hitting targets up to 50 miles away.
Russia has the world’s largest nuclear arsenal with 5,977 warheads, about 550 more than the United States. The two countries account for more than 90 percent of the world’s warheads, although SIPRI (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute) estimates that China is in the middle of expanding its arsenal, which has added more than 300 new missile silos.
According to the institute, the total number of nuclear warheads in the world dropped from 13080 in January 2021 to 12705 in January 2022. An estimated 3,732 warheads were deployed on missiles and aircraft, and about 2,000 (almost all of them Russian or U.S.) were on high alert.