Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, refused to rule out the use of nuclear weapons during the Ukraine conflict, saying in an interview with CNN on Tuesday, March 22 that such arms could be used if Russia faced an “existential threat”.
Russia has the world’s largest stockpile of nuclear warheads with the US coming in second.
Following the statement by the Kremlin, the Pentagon has now condemned Russia for using the Ukraine conflict as a pretext to launch the deadliest weapon known to mankind.
US department of defense spokesman John Kirby said Moscow’s nuclear remarks were “dangerous”.
Speaking to reporters, he said:
‘It’s reckless. It’s not the way a responsible nuclear power should act.”
However, Kirby added that Pentagon officials “haven’t seen anything that would lead us to conclude that we need to change our strategic deterrent posture”.
“We monitor this as best we can every day,” he added.
Also former US Defense Secretary, Leon Panetta also criticised Peskov’s comments.
“I don’t see how you can see it any other way but as dangerous when Russia is looking for a possible excuse for the use of low-yield nuclear weapons,” Panetta told CNN.
“And basing it frankly on a very false premise that somehow Russia is being threatened. I think that presents a real concern that Russia at least is considering that possibility.”