Touchaheart Nigeria reports that the Former US Defense Secretary, Leon Panetta has expressed concern to Russian President Vladimir Putin over Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov’s refusal to rule out the deployment of nuclear weapons during the crisis in Ukraine.
Peskov had previously stated on Tuesday that nuclear weapons may be deployed if Russia faced a “existential threat” as a result of the ongoing conflict with Ukraine.
Russia currently boasts the world’s largest arsenal of nuclear weapons, and Putin authorized the invasion of Ukraine last month over political differences.
Panetta, on the other hand, has slammed Peskov’s remarks, claiming that Putin should be concerned about his own safety as well.
Speaking on the development, Panetta told CNN:
“I don’t see how you can see it any other way but as dangerous when Russia is looking for a possible excuse for the use of low-yield nuclear weapons.
“And basing it frankly on a very false premise that somehow Russia is being threatened. I think that presents a real concern that Russia at least is considering that possibility.
“I don’t know that it’s going to happen. I still think that Putin has to worry about how the US would respond and he has to worry about his own survival.”