Putin may ‘test West’ after US sent enhanced nuclear weapons to Europe

Vladimir Putin under pressure to 'do something drastic' says expert

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Vladimir Putin may ‘test the West’ after Joe Biden’s US sent enhanced nuclear weapons to Europe, defence committee chairman Tobias Ellwood has warned. Mr Ellwood was speaking after the US confirmed it was sending enhanced “dial-a-yield” B61-12 thermonuclear bombs, so-called because payloads can be switched between 0.3, 1.5, 10 and 50 kilotons, as part of an £8.5billion upgrade.

Announcing the move at the end of last month, the Pentagon insisted it was unconnected to the Russian President’s nuclear threats.

However, the timing of the announcement, just hours after yet another bellicose speech by Putin, was not lost on the Tory MP for Bournemouth East.

He told Express.co.uk: “There was nothing coincidental about that.

“There’s a recognition that when it comes to nuclear deterrence, it’s now advanced into various forms.

“What we have is Continuous At Sea Deterrent (CASD) capability, massive city killers designed to retaliate and to deter any major aggressor in choosing to start a nuclear war.”

He explained: “Where warfare has got more complicated is the use of these tiny low-yield weapon systems, 0.5 kiloton, which if you compare the ones of up to 100 kiloton, and Hiroshima which 15 kilotons, puts it all in perspective.”

“So what this is doing is recognising that Russia is talking fast and furious, very loosely about threats of nuclear weapons.”

The availability of nuclear weapons which were in essence adjustable was providing options for the United States and arguably NATO to respond should the unthinkable happen and Putin opt to use nuclear weapons, Mr Ellwood pointed out.

He continued: “I strongly advocate a non-nuclear response, a conventional response first of all.

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“But ultimately, they clearly want be the ability to have full spectrum capability at readiness, near the theatre of war that is now, Ukraine,

In terms of Putin’s response, he said: “In one sense, it’s almost anticipated because this is unfortunately where the rhetoric has taken us.

“But it’s also worrying in that it is it is an escalation of tensions in terms of how Russia may respond and would Russia then test the West.

“There are some big geopolitical questions that have yet to be addressed.

“I really don’t see NATO being given the green light to respond as an alliance because Hungary and Turkey would see to that.

“You’re therefore left with whether America responds unilaterally or what would be the coalition that would rally around the US in order to offer an international flavour dimension to standing up to Putin.”

Speaking today, Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said Britain would not be deflected from its support for Ukraine by Russia’s attempts to “distract” from its failing invasion.

On Thursday, the UK ambassador to Moscow, Deborah Bronnert, was summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs over alleged UK involvement in a drone attack on Russia’s Black Sea fleet at the weekend.

In London, Andrey Kelin, the Russian ambassador to the UK, claimed British “specialists” had been involved in the “training, preparation and execution” of the raid, warning the UK was being drawn “too deep” into the conflict.

The Government has not commented directly on the charges, but speaking during a break at a meeting of G7 foreign ministers in Germany, Mr Cleverly said such claims were designed to “distract” from Russian military setbacks.

He said: “What they are trying to do is to distract the world – and probably the Russian people themselves – from the truth of the situation which is they are suffering setback after setback on the battlefield.

“The Ukrainians have been defending themselves incredibly effectively. The UK won’t be distracted from our ongoing support to the Ukrainians in their defence of their homeland and the world shouldn’t be distracted from calling out Russia for its illegal invasion, for hampering grain exports from the Black Sea, for targeting civilian centres and critical national infrastructure.”

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