The nuclear option remains firmly on the table for Russia in its invasion of Ukraine, a top spokesperson for Russian President Vladimir Putin told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Tuesday.
Amanpour audibly sighed as Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov parroted Kremlin talking points and refused to rule out nuking the neighboring country.
“I need to ask you this, because the world is afraid, and I want to know whether Putin intends the world to be afraid of the nuclear option. Would he use it?” the CNN anchor asked Peskov.
Putin “intends to make the world listen to and understand our concerns” about the perceived “anti-Russia” threat from the West, said Peskov.
Amanpour pressed further:
“I want to ask you again. Is President Putin, because, again, the Finnish president said to me that when he asked Putin directly about this, because President Putin has laid that (nuclear) card on the label, President Putin said that, if anybody tries to stop him, very bad things will happen. And I want to know whether you are convinced or confident that your boss will not use that option.”
“Well, we have a concept of domestic security, and, well, it’s public. You can read all the reasons for nuclear arms to be used,” Peskov responded. “So, if it is an existential threat for our country, then it can be used, in accordance with our concept.”
“I assume Putin wants to scare the world,” Amanpour commented later.
Watch the interview here: