Berlin takes Russian dictator Vladimir Putin's threats to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine very seriously, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock told German newspaper Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung on Sept. 3.
"We take his words very seriously — anything else would be frivolous,” Baerbock stated.
“For the more than 220 days of war, Vladimir Putin has repeatedly shown that he does not disdain even the worst of war crimes.”
The Russian military has repeatedly struck children and hospitals without batting an eye, she explained, and as a result, Germany wants to avoid “blackmailing” the Russian dictator – in case that action is perceived as an invitation to further escalation.
In her opinion, Putin’s speech on Sept. 30 showed that his imperial mania is not limited to Ukraine – and is a big reason why Germany continues to stand behind Ukraine.
"If Russia gets away with land grabs and blackmail and wins this war, that is, destroys Ukraine, not only will the European order of pace be in ruins, but no small country will be safe anymore," the minister added.
Putin once again threatened the use of nuclear weapons on Sept. 21, saying that "this is not a bluff".
The White House said that in case Russia uses nuclear weapons against Ukraine, the response of Washington and its allies will be decisive. The United States warned the Kremlin of "catastrophic consequences".
According to Ukrainian military intelligence chief Kyrylo Budanov, Russia will not launch a nuclear strike in the near future.