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U.S. Senators Call for Extending NATO Article 5 to Ukraine in Case of Russian Nuclear Attack

June 23, 2023, 2022 (EIRNS)—Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) introduced a resolution yesterday demanding that if Russia either uses nuclear weapons in Ukraine or there’s a major incident at the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant resulting in the spread of radiation contamination, that NATO view such incidents as an attack on NATO itself under Article 5. This, they say, is a response to the Russian deployment of nuclear weapons in Belarus.

“Senator Blumenthal and I want to put everyone on notice that the threat of the use of a nuclear device by Russia is real. And the best way to deter this threat is to give them—the Russians—clarity as to what happens if they use nuclear weapons,” said Graham. “Our message is to those around Putin. If you do this and follow his order, should he give it, you can expect a massive response from NATO. You will be at war with NATO.”

“It is meant to send a message,” said Senator Blumenthal, “to Vladimir Putin, and even more directly, to his military. They will be destroyed; they will be eviscerated if they use tactical nuclear weapons or if they destroy a nuclear plant in a way that threatens surrounding NATO nations.”

Anatoly Antonov, Russia’s ambassador to the U.S., warned that the new resolution threatens to push Washington and its NATO military alliance closer to a nuclear exchange with Moscow. He told Newsweek in an exclusive interview yesterday that the resolution “exemplifies those who really pursue the course towards a direct global conflict between Russia and NATO countries led by the United States.”

Antonov derided what he saw as “yet another manifestation of blind hatred for our country.” He argued that “the authors of the new initiative are eager to drag the United States even more deeply in the conflict in Ukraine.”

“International public opinion is force fed with a provocative point of view that Russia intends to launch a nuclear strike on the territory of Ukraine, and maybe even to destroy some nuclear facility,” Antonov said. “Is this phraseology hiding an intention to prepare the world for a provocation at the Zaporizhzhia NPP such as planting a ‘dirty bomb’ there and, of course, pinning all the sins on the Russian Federation?”

Antonov stressed that “the speculations about Russia’s possible use of TNWs (tactical nuclear weapons) are absurd.”

“By using such cheap rhetoric, the local elite demonstrates its absolute incompetence in strategic matters,” Antonov said. “The provocative and short-sighted remarks of the U.S. lawmakers only serve to escalate tensions and increase the risk of the situation sliding to an even more dangerous point.” He asserted that “it is time to realize that in the event of a direct armed conflict between Russia and NATO countries, the United States will not be able to hide behind the ocean.”

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