The German chancellor Olaf Scholz said in an interview that international pressure on Moscow helped “put a stop” to a potential nuclear escalation in Russia’s war on Ukraine.
Scholz was asked if he thought the threat of nuclear escalation had been averted. He said, “We’ve stopped it for now.”
“One thing has changed for now: Russia has stopped threatening to use nuclear weapons. In response to the international community drawing a red line,” he said in an interview with the German media group Funke.
When asked about French President Emmanuel Macron’s controversial comments about providing security guarantees to Moscow, Scholz said the priority was for Russia to “immediately end the war and withdraw its troops.”
“It is true that the question then is how we can achieve security for Europe. Of course, we are ready to talk with Russia about arms control in Europe. We offered it before the war and this position has not changed,” said the German Chancellor. he said.
The interview came on the one-year anniversary of Scholz’s triple coalition.
“We didn’t go crazy,” Putin says
On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the risk of nuclear war was increasing but Moscow would not use such weapons recklessly.
“We have not gone crazy, we realize what nuclear weapons are,” Putin told a meeting of his human rights council.
“We have these assets in a more advanced and modern form than any other nuclear country… But we are not going to run around the world brandishing this weapon like a razor.”
The Russian leader suggested that Moscow would only use nuclear weapons in retaliation for such an attack.
His remarks came more than nine months after he ordered what the Kremlin describes as a “special military operation” in Ukraine, launching a large-scale invasion.
With Russia failing to meet most of its key objectives in the war, fears have grown in recent months that Putin will resort to nuclear weapons.