Europe Responds to Putin’s Nuclear Threat: ‘Everything Is on the Table Right Now’

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s open threat to use nuclear weapons against NATO allies supporting Ukraine appears to European officials to be a watershed in high-stakes brinkmanship that could foreshadow a new level of carnage in Ukraine.

The threat is, first, a sign of “desperation and frustration by Putin,” a European official whose country emerged from behind the Iron Curtain after the fall of the Soviet Union told the Washington Examiner. “And secondly, as psychological pressure to the West before his major escalation in Ukraine (most likely in the coming days).”

Putin appeared on camera with senior Russian defense officials to order that they “introduce a special combat duty regime in the Russian army’s deference forces,” according to state media. That broadcast aired after days of heavy fighting around Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital city, which has proven resilient in the face of waves of Russian attacks since the first night of the invasion, and the announcement Saturday that the United States and other Western allies would increase military assistance for Ukraine while imposing sanctions on Russia’s central bank.

“Just to mention the possibility of using nuclear weapons is such an [act of] gigantic irresponsibility, that it says a lot about the personality of who is doing that,” European Union High Representative Josep Borrell, a former Spanish foreign minister, told reporters Sunday. “Nevertheless, we will continue supporting Ukraine.”

EU officials have agreed to finance the arming of Ukraine to resist the Russian invasion, which the bloc has never done for a country that is not part of the EU.

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Source: Washington Examiner