LONDON (CU)_The Kremlin on Monday blamed British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to place its nuclear forces on high alert, claiming that the “absolutely unacceptable” remarks made by the minister triggered the move. The spokesperson for the Russian government Dmitry Peskov went on to say that Moscow had placed nuclear forces on the “special regime of combat duty” in response to “aggressive statements” made by members of the NATO.
“Statements were made by various representatives at various levels on possible altercations or even collisions and clashes between NATO and Russia,” he said during a press briefing, the Interfax news agency reported. “We believe that such statements are absolutely unacceptable. I would not call the authors of these statements by name, although it was the British foreign minister.” However, he did not clarify which statements made by the Foreign Secretary was the Kremlin referring to.
According to observers, nothing said by Truss warrants an escalation of this sort. The Foreign Secretary has discussed NATO in the context of it being a defence alliance, while she has stood by Article 5 in sting that an attack against one ally is an attack against all.
The claims made by Moscow against the British MP was dismissed by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who described the alert as a “distraction” from the struggle faced by Russian troops amid fierce resistance from Ukrainian armed forces. Similar views were shared by Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who described the nuclear alert as a “transparent Russian attempt to divert”. “Whatever political disagreements any of us have with Liz Truss – and I have many deep differences with her – we should not fall for this transparent Russian attempt to divert,” she said on twitter. “The only person responsible for Putin’s despicable nuclear threat is Putin.”