India, China helped avoid nuke use: Blinken
TNN / Feb 25, 2023, 07:10 IST
A mid fear last year that Russian President Vladimir Putin might act irrationally in the Ukraine war, the US engaged with Russia and countries like India and China too helped prevent any use of nuclear weapons by Russia, US secretary of state Antony Blinken said ahead of his visit to India next week for G20 foreign ministers’ meeting.
“Putin might react more, even more irrationally, and there was language coming out of Moscow that suggested that he would look to the use of tactical nuclear weapons. So that was a concern,” said Blinken in an interview. “But what we did in that case wasto not only message him very directly — I was engaged with my counterpart, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov; others were engaged with their theirs — but we urged, and I think successfully, other countries that might have a little bit more influence with Russia these days, like China, but also other countries like India, to engage him directly about their absolute opposition to any use of nuclear weapons,” added Blinken.
He said the messages conveyed by China and India “had some effect”. “Something we always have to look at, but again the track record to date suggests that the escalation that some feared has, at least to now, not happened,” he said.