The United States is taking Russian dictator Vladimir Putin’s nuclear threats seriously, but does not consider the Kremlin’s rhetoric to be anything new, a U.S. government spokesman told U.S. television channel ABC on Sept. 21.
John Kirby, the Coordinator for Strategic Communications at the U.S. National Security Council, said Putin had used irresponsible rhetoric for a nuclear power, but that this was very typical of way Putin has been talking for the last seven months.
The United States is taking the Russian dictator’s threats seriously, Kirby said.
He added the United States was monitoring Russia’s strategic position and Washington would change its action plans if necessary.
Kirby also warned that the use of nuclear weapons by Russia would have “serious consequences.”
Meanwhile, Politico journalist Jonathan Lemire tweeted that “White House aides confirm that (U.S. President Joe) Biden’s upcoming UN speech is getting last-minute rewrites in the wake of Putin’s ominous overnight (in the United States, early morning in Europe) announcements.”
Earlier, media reported that Biden would condemn Russia’s full-scale war against Ukraine during his speech. He previously planned to make Russia’s war against Ukraine the key topic of his speech, but Putin’s latest statement “dramatically raises the stakes,” media reported.
According to U.S. news channel CNN, Biden will not directly address Putin’s words, but will focus on confirming U.S. support for Ukraine and Washington’s further actions.
Russian dictator Vladimir Putin early on Sept. 21 declared a partial mobilization in Russia and his readiness to use nuclear weapons in the event of a “threat to the territorial integrity” of Russia.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, in a later address, announced that 300,000 reservists would be called up during the partial mobilization.