Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Chief William Burns said that concerns raised by Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi regarding the use of nuclear weapons have impacted the Russians. “I think it has also been very useful that Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Modi in India have also raised their concerns about the use of nuclear weapons as well. I think that’s also having an impact on the Russians,” said Burns, while speaking to PBS.
In the interview, Burns said that there is no clear evidence present with him today of how Russia plans to make tactical use of nuclear weapons.
As per Burns, the sabre-rattling of Russian President Vladimir Putin is only aimed at intimidating others. Putin had earlier acknowledged that the Ukraine conflict is going to continue for a while. He had also issued a warning regarding the deepening threat of a nuclear war breakout.
While addressing a meeting of Russia’s Human Rights Council at the Kremlin, Putin said that Russia will fight using “all available means at their disposal”. He stated that is a special military operation.
“With regard to the protracted nature of the special military operation and its results, of course, it’s going to take a while, perhaps,” Putin said, as per a CNN report.
CNN further reported that Putin, without ruling out the possibility of initiating a nuclear war, said that the Russian nuclear arsenal looks more like a deterrent and not a provocation.
The Russian president said that they have a strategy and that they launch a strike in response to actions. He added that nation believes in using nuclear weapons for defence purposes, which they call a retaliatory strike. “That is, when we are struck, we strike in response,” Putin said.
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Putin further alleged that the United States has placed its nuclear weapons in huge numbers on European soil, and added that no nuclear weapons have been transferred by Russia to other territories and there is no such plan to do so, however, it “will protect its allies with all the means at its disposal, if necessary”.
He said that Russians are well aware of nuclear weapons and possess more modern and advanced weapons compared to those present with other nuclear nations. “But we are not going to brandish these weapons like a razor, running around the world,” Putin said.
(With inputs from agencies)