Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Putin’s nuclear threats could destroy relationship with China: EU diplomat

Must read

Russian President Vladimir Putin has issued many warnings that the deployment of tactical nuclear weapons in Ukraine is on the table. In response to “threats” from Western leaders, Russia began preparing for missile drills this week near Ukraine that simulate the use of these tactical nuclear missiles.

A top European diplomat has warned that if the Kremlin follows through on the threat, his relationship with China would be destroyed. The foreign minister of Lithuania, Gabrielius Landsbergis, said in an interview with the BBC’s HardTalk programme that the Russian president was bluffing about the prospect of deploying nuclear weapons.

When asked if Europe could just “ignore” President Putin’s nuclear threats, Landsbergis responded, “Can we count the number of times he has done this in the past? It is a number of times. It’s always a bluff.”

“He has nothing to gain from this, but everything to lose. Some countries are on his side, or he thinks so. China is clearly supporting Russia, and global partners in Latin America and Africa are also more likely to be on Putin’s side,” Landsbergis said.

“But if the threats become a reality, the whole partnership will disappear in an instant,” Landsbergis added.

“Putin has threatened to use nuclear weapons many times, but it’s always a bluff. He has nothing to gain from nuclear war, he has everything to lose. When his empty threats make us back down, he escalates anyway. Every time. That’s the reality of de-escalation,” Landsbergis posted on X along with the clip from the interview.

The delayed delivery of Western help, according to Landsbergis, is giving President Putin the incorrect impression. He went on to say that it could cause a conflict outside of Ukraine and involve other nations. “Because we are sending a very clear signal to Putin: if you threaten us, we will retreat. We have to ask, if Putin attacks another country and threatens tactical nukes, what would we do?,” he added.

He said that sending NATO soldiers to Ukraine should “never be ruled out,” and that Lithuania will be a part of any coalition that will help Ukraine win.

This comes as European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen instructed Chinese President Xi Jinping to persuade its ally Russia to halt the war with Ukraine.

She said that China is expected to employ all its influence on Russia to halt Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, as stated by her. She also said that President Xi has played a substantial role in de-escalating Russia’s reckless nuclear threats, and there is trust that he will continue to do so.

(With inputs from agencies)

Latest article