France Warns Putin: NATO Has Nuclear Weapons
French foreign minister issues warning to Russia over Ukraine invasion
France has issued a warning to Vladimir Putin as his forces invade Ukraine, reminding the Russian president that NATO also has nuclear weapons.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian warned Putin to think carefully while making threats to deploy his arsenal.
The top official was speaking with French television network TF1Info regarding Russia's actions in Ukraine.
He was asked if Putin's remarks were "tantamount to threatening Russian use of nuclear weapons in the Ukraine conflict," Reuters reported.
He said he believes they are.
"Yes, I think that Vladimir Putin must also understand that the Atlantic alliance is a nuclear alliance," he answered during the Thursday TV appearance.
"That is all I will say about this," he added.
🔴 #Ukraine— TF1Info (@TF1Info) February 24, 2022
🗣️ "Vladimir #Poutine doit aussi comprendre que l'Alliance atlantique est une alliance nucléaire [...] Les sanctions qui vont être proposées sont massives, elles visent à asphyxier le fonctionnement économique de la Russie"
📺 @JY_LeDrian dans #LE20H de @TF1 ⤵ pic.twitter.com/NTCFqN4OVk
Hours earlier, Putin spoke from the Kremlin in Moscow where he said Russia would respond with force should other nations try and interfere with its military operations in Ukraine.
"Whoever tries to hinder us, and even more so, to create threats to our country, to our people, should know that Russia's response will be immediate," the Russian president said.
"And it will lead you to such consequences that you have never encountered in your history."
Ukraine came under siege Thursday as Russia launched multiple airstrikes, prompting many to flee their homes and seek safety elsewhere.
Le Drian said Ukraine has not asked NATO member states to deploy military forces on the ground but is requesting humanitarian aid and financial assistance.
Ukraine is not a member of NATO, and leaders there have called for the alliance to cut diplomatic ties with Moscow.
The United States has imposed sanctions on Russia but has not pledged to respond with a military presence.
"Strangling Russia economically and financially will, in the long run, be stronger than any intervention," the foreign minister said.