Senator Lindsey Graham has warned Russia that the use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine will lead to massive NATO retaliation
Russia using nuclear weapons in Ukraine would be the equivalent of an attack on “NATO itself“, said Republican Senator Lindsey Graham on Thursday, adding that he would meet a”catastrophic” answer.
Speaking at a joint press conference with Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Graham noted that in such an attack, radiation “would not be limited to Ukraine, you radiate parts of Europe that are under the NATO banner.”
“If that day ever comes – and I hope and pray it doesn’t – [a nuclear strike] should be seen by NATO at large and the United States as an attack by Russia on NATO itself,” he said.
If Russian President Vladimir Putin used nuclear weapons in Ukraine, the United States and its allies would have to design a “overwhelming“answer that would be”catastrophicfor Moscow, Graham said.
Graham and Blumenthal called the press conference to unveil legislation blocking foreign aid to any country recognizing the results of referendums in Donetsk, Lugansk, Zaporozhye and Kherson, regions that were once part of Ukraine which earlier this week , voted overwhelmingly to become part of Russia.
The United States and its allies have refused to recognize the results, while Ukraine has pledged to regain all lost territory, including that of Crimea, which voted to join Russia in 2014 following the US-backed coup in Kyiv.
While Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky admitted last March that kyiv was unlikely to join NATO, he announced on Friday that the country would file an accelerated application to join the military alliance.
Andrey Yermak, head of the president’s office for Ukraine, and former NATO secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen earlier this month unveiled a proposed “kyiv Security Compact”, a NATO-like agreement demanding “security guaranteesin the form of large pledges of financial and military assistance from Western guarantor states.
No limited nuclear conflict – Russian Ambassador
The compact, which would belegally and politically binding“explicitly obliges the United States and Europe to defend Ukraine”in case of aggression“, potentially putting them in direct conflict with Russia.
Putin promised earlier this month that Russia would use “all meansat its disposal to defend itself in a scenario where its territorial integrity was threatened.