According to the head of the Munich Security Conference, Christoph Heusgen, Russian President Vladimir Putin primarily wants to exert influence on Germany with his nuclear threats in the Ukraine war. “With the threat of nuclear weapons, he is primarily aiming at Germany,” Heusgen told the newspapers of the Bayern media group. With this threat, Putin is trying to stir up fears and weaken support for Ukraine. “We’re back in Cold War logic.”
The Americans have made it clear to Moscow that the use of nuclear weapons would have catastrophic consequences for Russia, Heusgen said. “I cannot imagine that there are suicidal Russian generals who would implement such an order.” In addition, the Kremlin chief does not want to go into worldwide isolation. Even China cannot allow the use of nuclear weapons to go through. In connection with the war of aggression in Ukraine, the Kremlin has repeatedly and indirectly threatened to use nuclear weapons. For example, Putin had announced that he would use all available means to protect Russia. Russia had previously annexed Ukrainian territory. Observers saw it as a threat to use nuclear weapons.
On the question of Ukraine’s possible NATO membership, Heusgen said that the former Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) vetoed at a summit in 2008 have. The situation has changed as a result of Putin’s breach of international law, said Heusgen, who was Merkel’s foreign policy advisor for many years. “We have to think about what guarantees we can give Ukraine.” He didn’t want to anticipate that. “But I think we should no longer rule out NATO membership for Ukraine,” Heusgen told the newspapers.