Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has warned the West of a “lightning fast” response to any country that intervenes in its war against Ukraine war and creates what he called “strategic threats for Russia.”
“We have all the instruments [to respond] that no one can boast of … we’re going to use them if we have to,” he said, in what has widely been seen as an allusion to Russia’s arsenal of intercontinental ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons.
Russia shocked the European community by halting gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria on Wednesday because they had refused to pay for the gas in Russian rubles, as Moscow demanded. The move comes as tensions remain high between Western allies and Russia after Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Monday said the threat of a nuclear war is very significant and the risks should not be underestimated.
U.S. President Joe Biden has asked Congress to approve $33 billion in additional money for the Ukraine war, which includes funding for U.S. military support to the embattled nation and a mix of direct cash and supplies for Ukraine.