France’s President Emmanuel Macron said on Wednesday that he would not use nuclear weapons against Russia in response to a Russian nuclear attack on Ukraine.
“France has a nuclear doctrine, that is based on the vital interests of the country and which are clearly defined. These would not be at stake if there was a nuclear ballistic attack in Ukraine or in the region,” the French president said.
Macron has spoken out against escalating the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, tweeting on Thursday, “We do not want a World War.”
“We are helping Ukraine to resist on its soil, never to attack Russia,” he added in a second tweet. “Vladimir Putin must stop this war and respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity.”
Also on Thursday, the Deputy Secretary of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s Security Council warned that Ukrainian calls for the international community to take “preventative” strikes or actions against Russia are a call for World War III and a nuclear conflict that “would be catastrophic for all mankind.”
In an interview with the Russian state-run TASS news agency, Kremlin Security Council Deputy Secretary Alexander Venediktov warned if western nations supporting Ukraine decided to use weapons of mass destruction on Russia, it would all but guarantee World War III.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy recently called for the West to carry out “preventative strikes” against Russia before it uses its nuclear weapons and “to eliminate the possibility that Russia will use nuclear strikes.”
The Kremlin official went on to say that “in the West, fewer and fewer people remember what war is, so they lose touch with reality and do not understand how dangerous such appeals are and what the consequences may be.”
“For some reason, many believe that a nuclear war can be waged locally,” he added. “We must remember: a nuclear conflict will affect absolutely the whole world – and not only Russia and the collective West, but in general any country on this planet. Its consequences will be catastrophic for all mankind.”