WASHINGTON: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) chief William Burns has said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping’s concerns about the use of nuclear weapons have had an impact on the Russians amid Ukraine war.
“I think it has also been very useful that Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Modi in India have also raised their concerns about the use of nuclear weapons as well. I think that’s also having an impact on the Russians,” William Burns said during an interview with the PBS adding that he doesn’t see any clear evidence today of Russia’s plans to use tactical nuclear weapons. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s saber-rattling is only meant to intimidate, he added.
Burns’ remarks came as Putin acknowledged that the war in Ukraine could continue for a while as he warned of the increasing threat of nuclear war. Speaking at a meeting of Russia’s Human Rights Council at the Kremlin, the Russian President said that Moscow will fight by “all available means at their disposal”.
“With regard to the protracted nature of the special military operation and its results, of course, it’s going to take a while, perhaps,” he said without categorically ruling out the first use of nuclear weapons which he viewed as a deterrent rather than a provocation.
Putin had also said that Russia has a strategy, and that they will strike in response as the country considers the use of nuclear weapons for defence. “That is, when we are struck, we strike in response,” he said. “But we are not going to brandish these weapons like a razor, running around the world,” he added.