The U.S. to consult with its allies to discuss the ‘Contingency’ use of Nuclear Weapons, U.S. National Security Adviser says
As you may recall, late last month Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered Russia’s nuclear forces to be placed on heightened alert late last month, citing “aggressive statements” by British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss about possible NATO involvement in the Ukraine crisis.
Now, as the war between Russia and Ukraine enters its fourth week, US President Joe Biden is traveling to Europe on Wednesday for meetings of the European Council and NATO on Thursday. Then Biden is expected to arrive in Poland on Friday to discuss the Ukraine crisis.
According to U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, Biden and his European counterparts will announce new sanctions against Russia and new measures to tighten existing sanctions.
In addition, Biden will also discuss longer-term adjustments to NATO force posture and contingencies in the case of nuclear weapons use including “joint action” on enhancing energy security in Europe.
Sullivan said Biden will also discuss the potential use of nuclear weapons with allies and partners in the context of the crisis in Ukraine. Sullivan has said.
“President Putin in the early days of the conflict actually raised the spectre of the potential use of nuclear weapons. It is something that we do have to be concerned about. Based on our current analysis we have not changed our nuclear posture to date. But we are constantly monitoring for that potential contingency and of course we take it as seriously as one can possibly take it. We will be consulting with allies and partners on that potential contingency among a range of others and discussing what our potential responses are,” Sullivan said in a briefing in Washington on Tuesday.
“He will have the opportunity to coordinate on the next phase of military assistance to Ukraine. He will join our partners in imposing further sanctions on Russia and tightening the existing sanctions to crack down on evasion and to ensure robust enforcement,” Sullivan told reporters.
When asked about the use of nuclear weapons, Sullivan cautioned saying that Russian President Vladimir Putin had raised the specter of their deployment, but the United States had not changed its nuclear posture to date.