The Biden administration for months has sent private communications to Russia warning against the use of a nuclear weapon in Ukraine, The Washington Post reports.
Anonymous officials told the Post that the administration has repeatedly warned Russia about the “grave consequences” the Kremlin would face if it used a nuclear weapon.
The messages have been intentionally vague and echo what President Joe Biden and his administration have publicly stated.
The warnings have been deliberately vague to keep the Kremlin guessing about how the U.S. may respond, according to the report.
State Department effort:
Officials at the State Department have been involved in private communications with the Kremlin on the matter but officials did not say who delivered the messages.
It’s not clear whether the administration has sent any new messages after Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a veiled nuclear threat earlier this week.
Biden in an interview last week warned Putin against using nuclear weapons in Ukraine.
“Don’t. Don’t. Don’t,” Biden said. “You will change the face of war unlike anything since World War II.”
Russia raises threat:
Dmitry Medvedev, deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council, wrote in a Telegram post on Thursday that Russian-held territories in eastern Ukraine would be “accepted into Russia” after holding so-called “referendums” and vowed that the Kremlin would defend those areas.
Medvedev wrote that Russia would use “any Russian weapon, including strategic nuclear ones and those using new principles,” he said, referring to hypersonic weapons.
“Russia has chosen its path,” Medvedev added. “There is no way back.”