Putin nuclear alert 'dangerous' and 'irresponsible': NATO chief

AFP , Sunday 27 Feb 2022

President Vladimir Putin's decision to place his nuclear forces on alert amounts to "irresponsible" behavior, NATO charged Sunday.

Jens Stoltenberg
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg. AFP

"This is dangerous rhetoric. This is a behavior which is irresponsible," the alliance's secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg told CNN amid heightened tensions over the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

"And, of course, if you combine this rhetoric with what they're doing on the ground in Ukraine, waging war against the independent sovereign nation, conducting a full-fledged invasion of Ukraine, this adds to the seriousness of the situation," he added.

In a dramatic escalation of East-West tensions over Russia's invasion of Ukraine, President Vladimir Putin ordered Russian nuclear forces put on high alert Sunday in response to what he called ``aggressive statements'' by leading NATO powers.

The order means Putin wants Russia's nuclear weapons prepared for increased readiness to launch and raises the threat that Moscow's invasion of Ukraine and the West's response to it could boil over into nuclear warfare.

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