After annexing four occupied regions of Ukraine, Putin made a veiled threat to the US in a speech. However, President Biden warned Russia that Putin’s reckless threat does not intimidate the US.
Nato Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg described the annexation as “the most serious escalation since the start of the war.”
Putin threatening the US
In a speech, Putin appeared to make a veiled threat to use nuclear weapons to protect the newly seized lands. The regions, according to him, would “forever” be a part of Russia.
Furthermore, the Russian president asserted in his speech that voters in Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Luhansk, and Donetsk chose to stand “with their people, their motherland.”He was alluding to so-called referendums that had recently taken place in the regions that the governments of Ukraine and the West denounced as fake.
But throughout most of his speech, he railed against the West. He claimed that by using nuclear weapons on Japan at the close of World War Two in an apparent threat, the US had set a “precedent.”
Moreover, last week, Putin declared that his nation has “various weapons of destruction” and would “use all the means available to us,” adding, “I’m not bluffing.”
Besides, the Kremlin has made it plain that any assault on the recently acquired regions would be interpreted as an assault on Russian territory, escalating the conflict.
How did the US respond?
While criticizing Vladimir Putin for his “reckless comments and threats,” President Biden emphasized that Mr. Putin “wasn’t going to intimidate us.”
Additionally, President Biden declared at the White House, “America and its allies are not going to be intimidated.” He then pointed his finger straight into the camera and addressed the Russian president directly. “America’s fully prepared, with our Nato allies, to defend every single inch of Nato territory,” he said, referring to the Western security bloc. “
Biden emphasized: “Mr. Putin, don’t misunderstand what I’m saying: every inch.”A short while later, Mr. Biden’s top national security official stated that although Moscow could potentially use nuclear weapons, there did not seem to be an immediate threat.
Other nations’ response to Putin’s annexation
Soon after Mr. Putin’s statement, Ukraine started a new, fast-track application process to join NATO.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg declined to comment on the proposal, stating the bloc’s 30 members should make that decision.
However, according to Mr. Stoltenberg, the alliance’s members “do not and will not” acknowledge any of the annexed areas as part of Russia. He also accused Mr. Putin of engaging in “irresponsible nuclear saber-rattling.”
Additionally, Ursula von der Leyen, the EU Commission President, asserted that “the illegal annexation proclaimed by Putin won’t change anything. All territories illegally occupied by Russian invaders are Ukrainian land and will always be part of this sovereign nation.”
Similarly, South Korea said it did not recognize the annexations and emphasized the need to uphold Ukraine’s territorial integrity, sovereignty, and independence.
On another note, Russia vetoed a UN Security Council resolution that would have condemned Russia’s annexation of the four occupied regions. According to BBC, Vasily Nebenzia, Moscow’s ambassador, complained that it was unprecedented to seek the condemnation of a permanent member of the body. Meanwhile, China and India chose not to vote, while the Kremlin’s blocking of the motion was anticipated.