NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said that the possibility of NATO using nuclear weapons was “extremely remote,” but that there would be “severe consequences” if Russia would conduct a nuclear strike against Ukraine, Reuters reported.
He was answering a question of reporters about previous remarks made by a senior NATO official, who said that a Russian nuclear strike on Ukraine would almost certainly draw a “physical response.” Stoltenberg did not directly confirm this scenario, but said that the nature of the conflict would be fundamentally changed.
“There would be severe consequences if Russia used nuclear weapons, any kind of nuclear weapon against Ukraine…We will not go into exactly how we will respond, but this will fundamentally change the nature of the conflict. It means that a very important line has been crossed,” he was quoted by Reuters as saying.
Stoltenberg added that NATO’s nuclear deterrence policy had the goal of defending its allies, so the chance of a response-in-kind from the bloc in case of a Russian nuclear strike on Ukraine was “extremely remote.”
What if Russia nukes Ukraine? Military strategist Lawrence Freedman explains