US says taking Putin’s ‘irresponsible’ nuclear threat ‘seriously’

The United States is taking Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “irresponsible" veiled threat to use nuclear weapons “seriously," a senior US official said Wednesday.

“It’s irresponsible rhetoric for nuclear power to talk that way. But it’s not atypical for how he’s been talking the last seven months and we take it very seriously," John Kirby, spokesman for the White House’s National Security Council, told Good Morning America on ABC after Putin said he would use “all available means" to protect Russian territory.

“We’re monitoring as best we can — their strategic posture. So if we have to, we can alter ours. We’ve seen no indication that that’s required right now."

President Vladimir Putin ordered a partial military mobilisation and vowed on Wednesday to use “all available means" to protect Russian territory, after Moscow-held regions of Ukraine suddenly announced annexation referendums.



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