Nuclear attack in Ukraine should trigger ‘devastating’ NATO response, Poland says | Nuclear weapons

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Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau said NATO’s response to any use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine should be non-nuclear but “devastating”.

Speaking during a visit to Washington, Rau said the alliance was taking that message to Moscow.

Russia’s military debacle in Ukraine, where its forces are pushed back to the east of the country, has heightened fears that a desperate Vladimir Putin may resort to using a nuclear weapon, possibly a low-yield tactical warhead , in an attempt to shock Ukraine into ending its resistance to its invasion.

“To our knowledge, Putin is threatening to use tactical nukes on Ukrainian soil, not to attack NATO, which means NATO should respond in a conventional way,” Rau told the NBC show. News. Meet the press. “But the response should be devastating. And I guess that’s the clear message the NATO alliance is sending to Russia right now.

US national security adviser Jake Sullivan warned on Sunday that any nuclear use by the Kremlin would have “catastrophic consequences for Russia”, which had been “explained” in private conversations with Russian officials.

The Russian military has expanded conscription with the official goal of sending an additional 300,000 troops to Ukraine, although there are reports that the real goal is considerably higher. The mobilization sparked unrest and an exodus across Russia’s borders, particularly of men of conscription age.

“Obviously President Putin is losing the war in Ukraine,” Rau said. “So his reaction is to launch the mobilization. But mobilization does not seem to help him win the war.

Poland’s foreign minister said Ukraine’s armed forces had already defeated professional Russian soldiers, so the “poorly trained and ill-equipped” new conscripts were unlikely to change the tide of the war.

Rau said if the mobilization led to a breakthrough, it would be in Russian public opinion.

“Until now, the war was popular, at least for the majority of the Russian population, up to 80%,” he said. “And now every Russian family will have to take their own stand against the war, knowing that their loved ones can be sent there and they can be killed there.”

During his trip to Washington, Rau will not meet with anyone from the Biden administration, but will see congressional leaders, Sullivan’s predecessor as national security adviser John Bolton, and visit a new museum in the US capital. dedicated to the victims of communism.

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