Tory minister ‘concerned’ about Putin’s nuclear threats amid fears of ‘escalation’

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(Independent)

Threats from Vladimir Putin regarding nuclear weapons are “very worrying,” a foreign minister said.

Gillian Keegan said the Russian president’s comments were “clearly an escalation” overnight.

In a televised speech, Putin had accused the West of “nuclear blackmail” and said his country might respond.

“Some of the language used was quite disturbing at the end and we would of course urge calm,” FCDO minister Keegan told Sky News on Wednesday morning, responding to the British government.

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“It’s something we have to take very seriously because, you know, we can’t control it.

“I’m not sure he’s in control either. I mean, this is clearly an escalation and, of course, for the Russian people they will now be enlisted in this war.”

During his speech on Wednesday, Putin had criticized “statements by some high-ranking representatives of the leading NATO states about the possibility of using nuclear weapons for mass destruction against Russia”.

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“To those who allow themselves such statements about Russia, I would like to remind you that our country also has different means of destruction, and for individual components and more modern than those of the NATO countries and when the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, in order to To protect Russia and our people, we will certainly use all the means at our disposal,” Putin said, adding: “It is not a bluff.”

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The Russian president also announced a partial military mobilization, which is also expected to call up 300,000 military reservists.

More to come…

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