With the world seemingly hurtling toward the first war-time detonation of a nuclear weapon in almost 80 years, world leaders are beginning to make their likely course of action known. After all, the use of an atomic weapon by the Kremlin will be surprising enough…we don’t need a chaotic and disjointed retort to make matters worse.
For many of the good people of the world, the use of such a weapon by Vladimir Putin would elicit a deep and dramatic rebuke.
But for France…not so much.
France will not respond with nuclear weapons should Russia use them against Ukraine, French President Emmanuel Macron said.
“Our doctrine rests on the fundamental interests of the nation,” Mr Macron told public broadcaster France 2 on Wednesday.
“They are defined clearly and wouldn’t be directly affected at all if, for example, there was a ballistic nuclear attack in Ukraine, in the region.”
Unsurprisingly, France was hoping to avoid conflict.
Mr Macron said Mr Putin must “return to the table” to discuss peace in Ukraine and that he thought Kyiv would have to negotiate with him at some point.
“Today, first of all, Vladimir Putin must stop this war, respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity and come back to the table for talks,” he said.
US President Joe Biden has suggested that Putin’s potential use of a nuclear weapon would manifest “catastrophic” repercussions from the United States, although Biden this week dismissed the Kremlin’s threats altogether, declaring his beleif that Moscow would not be deploying any such weapon.