British Defense Minister Ben Wallace said on Monday that Vladimir Putin’s nuclear threat was intended to “impress” but did not constitute a “significant change” in Russia’s deterrence strategy.
“We have studied his position. There is no significant change,” said Ben Wallace on LBC radio, who believes that, with this statement, Putin “seeks to impress.”
Wallace said he had to reassure his 12-year-old son: “We are not headed for nuclear war.”
“What I told him is that President Putin is currently using rhetoric to divert attention from his problems in Ukraine, and he wants us all to keep his nuclear deterrent in mind,” the minister said.
But both the United Kingdom, France and the United States, in turn, have nuclear deterrent weapons, “which have provided us with security for decades,” he added.
His words are in line with those of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who declared on Sunday that Putin’s threat was a “distraction from the reality of what is happening in Ukraine”, where Russian forces were encountering “a lot of resistance, more than the one that the Kremlin imagined as well”.
Wallace also told the BBC that there are “Russians who are defecting or giving up because they are confused, like everyone else, about why they joined a war against people with whom they probably have ties.”