President Joe Biden warned Russian President Vladimir Putin against using chemical or tactical nuclear weapons in the Russian invasion of Ukraine, warning him it would bring a ‘consequential’ response.
Biden said in a televised interview with CBS that any use of unconventional arms in the almost seven-month-old Ukraine conflict would change the face of war unlike anything since World War II.
He noted that should Moscow use chemical or tactical nuclear weapons, it will become more of a pariah in the world than ever before and that the US response that would occur will be determined depending on the extent of what they do.
Biden’s warning comes after Russian troops struck the South Ukraine nuclear power plant Pivdennoukrainsk in Ukraine’s southern Mykolaiv region on Monday morning, causing damage to the facility’s buildings and a short-term power outage that has disrupted power supplies to the grid.
The surprise counteroffensive by Kyiv that has put Russian forces in retreat in Ukraine’s northeastern Kharkiv region will get another boost, as a senior Pentagon official has said, announcing Washington may provide the Ukrainian military with NATO-compatible tanks to replace aging Soviet-era gear.
Asked whether the White House was considering heavy armor in future aid packages to Ukraine in line with demands of Ukrainian lawmakers that have recently visited the US capital, the defense staffer said that tanks are absolutely on the table but their delivery depends on how quickly Ukrainian forces could be trained to use and maintain the vehicles.
The Pentagon has so far refrained from sending Ukraine some of the US military’s most sophisticated weapons, such as heavy armor or fighter jets, but the latest $600 million security package to Kyiv announced last week includes additional rounds of High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) a number of transport vehicles and other weapons.