Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday claimed that Russia had no intentions of carrying out nuclear strikes on Ukraine amid the raging conflict between the two neighboring countries.
"We see no need for that. There is no point in that, neither political nor military," AP quoted Putin speaking at a conference of international foreign policy experts. He was speaking at a conference on Thursday, a day after he monitored Russia's drill of strategic nuclear forces. Ballistic and cruise missiles were launched during the drill, according to a statement issued by the Kremlin.
"Under the leadership of … Vladimir Putin, a training session was held with ground, sea and air strategic deterrence forces, during which practical launches of ballistic and cruise missiles took place," the Kremlin said in a statement.
Here is all you need to know about Russia's nuclear strike warnings:
Russia's nuclear warnings
The recent fears of nuclear strikes on Ukraine began after fresh attacks by Russia at the beginning of October. Kyiv and several other cities were attacked by over 80 Russian missiles, killing at least 19 people. A week later, more attacks were carried out on major Ukrainian cities using kamikaze drones.
At the conference on Thursday, Putin reiterated his allegations that Ukraine was plotting to detonate a low-yield radioactive device on its own territory so as to implicate Putin for "preparing a false flag attack of its own". The Guardian quoted Putin saying that he ordered his defence minister to call up top Nato commanders over the "potential detonation of a dirty bomb in Ukraine"
He said that Russia knew where the dirty bomb was being prepared. "Russia, who created the modern Ukraine, can be the only true, serious guarantor of Ukrainian statehood, sovereignty and territorial integrity," Russian news agency Tass quoted Putin as saying. He said that while Moscow is ready for negotiations with Kyiv, Kyiv decided not to continue them. "Washington should give Kyiv a signal that problems must be resolved peacefully."
"We have never said anything about the possible use of nuclear weapons by Russia, but only hinted at the statements made by the leaders of western countries," Putin said while taking a dig at the US.
Why US remains skeptical
Despite Putin's denial of using nuclear strikes, US President Joe Biden expressed skepticism. "If he has no intention, why does he keep talking about it? Why is he talking about the ability to use a tactical nuclear weapon?" Reuters quoted Biden saying.
Biden sounded an alarm over Putin's Ukraine attack and said, "He's been very dangerous in how he's approached this."
Meanwhile, the US has said it will provide a new security package to Ukraine. John Kirby, White House National Security Council spokesperson, told CNN that additional security assistance will be given to conflict-torn Ukraine.
"You'll see some additional security assistance being provided to Ukraine from the United States through our drawdown authorities. And I think very, very soon you'll see another one from the United States. We're going to keep at this, as the President said, for as long as it takes," Kirby was quoted as saying.
Kirby blamed Putin for the situation in Ukraine. "Ukraine poses a threat to no one, let alone Russia. So if it's uncertain, it's dangerous right now, it's because of Putin. And it wasn't the West who raised any concerns about nuclear weapons first — it was Putin," Kirby told CNN.