This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.
The U.S. national-security spokesman said President Joe Biden’s recent warnings of possible “Armageddon” in relation to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s continued references to his nuclear arsenal were not based on any specific developments and that the White House does not see an imminent threat.
“These comments were not based on new or fresh intelligence or new indications that Mr. Putin has made a decision to use nuclear weapons and, quite frankly, we don’t have any indication that he has made that kind of decision,” John Kirby told ABC TV on October 9.
“Nor have we seen anything that would give us pause to reconsider our own strategic nuclear posture in our efforts to defend our own national security interests and those of our allies and partners,” Kirby said.
On October 7, Biden said: “We have not faced the prospect of Armageddon since [the time of U.S. President John F.] Kennedy and the Cuban missile crisis [in 1962]. We’re trying to figure out what is Putin’s off-ramp.”
Kirby acknowledged that the “the stakes are very high right now” with Moscow and that Washington would continue to provide aid to Ukraine in its war against Russia’s unprovoked invasion.
Kirby said the White House was not commenting on the explosion that damaged Russia’s crucial road-and-rail Crimea Bridge on October 8.
“We don’t really have anything more to add to the reports about the explosion on the bridge,” he said.
“What I can tell you is that Mr. Putin started this war, and Mr. Putin could end it today, simply by moving his troops out of the country.”