U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Sept. 30 the United States has not to date seen Russia take any action that suggests it is contemplating the use of nuclear weapons, despite what he decried as “loose talk” by President Vladimir Putin about their possible use.
“We are looking very carefully to see if Russia is actually doing anything that suggests that they are contemplating the use of nuclear weapons. To date, we’ve not seen them take these actions,” Blinken said at a news conference in Washington.
Blinken said the United States will act at the U.N. Security Council on Friday to hold Russia accountable for Moscow’s referendums and proclaimed annexation of parts of Ukraine.
U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Linda Thomas-Greenfield said on Tuesday the United States would jointly introduce a resolution with Albania that will call on member states not to recognize any altered status of Ukraine and obligate Russia to withdraw its troops.
A Security Council meeting is scheduled for 3pm local time on Friday.
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Meanwhile, Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly announced on Friday, Canada was imposing further sanctions in relation to Moscow’s referendums and proclaimed annexation.
Joly said Canada was imposing measures on 43 Russian oligarchs, financial elites and their family members; the so-called governing body in Kherson; and 35 Russia-backed senior officials in Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia.
Blinken added, the United States on Friday had also imposed wide-ranging sanctions on Russia, targeting hundreds of people and companies, including those in Russia’s military-industrial complex and lawmakers.
Washington and Canada acted after Putin on Friday proclaimed the biggest annexation in Europe since World War Two, declaring Russian rule over 15 percent of Ukraine territory occupied by Russian forces.
By Reuters (Production: Bernat Parera, Geraldine Downer)