Russian ambassador to the UK says Putin WON’T use nuclear weapons in Ukraine war insisting they will only be deployed when ‘the existence of the state is endangered’
- Russia’s ambassador claims it is unlikely it will use nuclear weapons on Ukraine
- Andrei Kelin told BBC that tactical nuclear weapons are under strict provision
- Putin put his nuclear forces on high alert in February, widely seen as a warning
- Russia is thought to have around 2,000 tactical nuclear weapons in its arsenal
- Leaders of France and Germany meanwhile implored Putin to consider talks
- They asked the despot to hold ‘direct and serious negotiations’ with Zelensky
Russia is unlikely to use its tactical nuclear weapons against Ukraine, according to the country’s ambassador to Britain.
Andrei Kelin said that due to Russia’s military rules, nuclear weapons are under strict provision and not used for conflicts such as Ukraine.
At the time, Britain’s Defence Secretary Ben Wallace described it as a diversion tactic away from the failures of its delayed invasion of Ukraine.
Russia is thought to have around 2,000 tactical nuclear weapons.
Russian ambassador Andrei Kelin said that due to Russia’s military rules, nuclear weapons are under strict provision and not used for conflicts such as Ukraine
Putin put his nuclear forces on high alert three months ago in a move many considered to be a warning after criticising Nato and the West
Tactical nuclear weapons can travel short distances, unlike ‘strategic’ nuclear weapons which can go farther and are much more closely linked to the prospect of nuclear war.
Ambassador Kelin has denied Russia shelled civilians in Ukraine and insists claims of war crimes in Bucha are ‘a fabrication’.
He added: ‘The mayor of Bucha in his initial statement has confirmed that Russian troops has left, everything is clean and calm, the town in a normal state.
‘Nothing is happening, no bodies are on the street. But next, after it has been done – but anyway…
‘In our view it is a fabrication. It is used just to interrupt negotiations,’ the ambassador replied.’
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has previously insisted pictures of bodies strewn in the streets of Bucha were ‘staged’ – a claim contradicted by numerous eyewitnesses.
Kelin’s declarations come as the leaders of France and Germany implored Russian President Vladimir Putin to consider talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Emmanuel Macron and Olaf Scholz reportedly spoke with the despot for 80 minutes and insisted he must hold ‘direct and serious negotiations’ with Zelensky to bring about a ceasefire.
Russian ambassador Andrei Kelin denied Russia has nuclear plans in Ukraine during a tense interview with the BBC
The ambassador denied Russia shelled civilians in Ukraine and insists claims of war crimes in Bucha are ‘a fabrication’
French President Emmanuel Macron (L) and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (R) implored Putin to consider peace talks with Zelensky
The pair ‘insisted on an immediate ceasefire and a withdrawal of Russian troops’, according to a statement given by Scholz’s office.
The Kremlin meanwhile said Putin would be ‘open’ to resuming talks with Kyiv, but did not mention any possibility of direct negotiations between the leaders of the warring nations.
Zelensky previously said he was not ‘eager’ for talks after weeks of having his repeated calls for negotiations aired, but recognised they would likely be necessary to end the conflict.
France and Germany also urged the Russian President to release 2,500 Ukrainian fighters captured at the Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol.