Russia will pay an “astronomical” price should its President Vladimir Putin order the use of tactical nuclear weapons in Ukraine, the US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland said on Friday, amid the ongoing Russian offensive.
In an interview for the Ukrainian outlet European Pravda, Nuland was asked to assess the possibility of Russia using tactical nuclear weapons. She responded that she could not rule out such a “catastrophic scenario.” As Putin “has already ordered” what, she said, were “brutal war crimes,” the world must be prepared for the worst. At the same time, Nuland stressed, the consequences of such steps would be catastrophic for Russia and for Putin personally.
She refused to provide any details about the potential response from the West, saying instead that use of nuclear weapons would take the situation to a “fundamentally new level” where the price will be “simply astronomical.”