What strategy should be adopted in the face of Russia’s nuclear threats in Ukraine? Should we dramatize, keep silent or threaten? Leaders of Western nuclear-armed powers have spoken publicly. Each with different answers.
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For Emmanuel Macron, for example, “the less we talk about it, the less the threat is raised and the more credible we are.” The tone of the French president is therefore quite reassuring. But his words contrast with those of his American counterpart. Last week, Joe Biden had actually used the term “Armageddon”, a nuclear apocalypse.
On the European side, the tone was also more worrying. “Any nuclear attack on Ukraine will lead to a response, not a nuclear response, but a military response so powerful” from the West, “that the Russian army will be annihilated,” declared the head of European diplomacy Josep Borrel.
On the UK side, while not yet in office, Prime Minister Liz Truss had clearly voiced the nuclear response. Today, she is still firm, but cautious.
For Michel Duclos, former French ambassador to Syria and Switzerland, behind this disturbing cacophony, “there is implicitly a small opening for negotiations.” As he explains at the microphone at the Forum, the current crisis is actually reminiscent of the missiles in Cuba in 1962. A crisis which had just ended with an “agreement” between the Americans and the Soviets.
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