President Vladimir Putin has ordered his army to put Russia’s nuclear deterrence on “special” alert on Sunday following “aggressive statements” by NATO leaders.

“Western countries are not only taking unfriendly actions against our country in the economic area. I’m speaking about the illegitimate sanctions that everyone is well aware of. However, the top officials of the leading NATO countries also make aggressive statements against our country as well,” Putin stated on Russian media.

“For this reason, I order the minister of defense and the chief of general staff to put deterrent forces on special combat duty,” Putin continued.

Earlier this month, Russia conducted exercises involving its nuclear forces including test launches of missiles.

Placing Russia’s nuclear deterrence on high alert may include the use of nuclear and conventional weapons. Russia’s military definition said the deterrence is designed “to deter aggression against Russia and its allies, as well as to defeat the aggressor, including in a war with the use of nuclear weapons.”

Commenting on the latest development, natsec reported Paul Sonne writes that “Putin is now essentially threatening the use of nuclear weapons in response to the announcement that the Russian central bank will be targeted with economic restrictions.”

In response to Putin’s order, the US ambassador to the United Nations said that Putin’s decision escalates the conflict unacceptably.

Republished from ZeroHedge.com with permission

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