Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Monday that the US and Russia have had “sporadic” contact over the issue of nuclear arms as tensions are soaring between the world’s largest nuclear-armed powers.
“There are channels for dialogue at the proper level, but they are of a very sporadic nature. At least they allow for the exchange of some emergency messages about each other’s positions,” Peskov said.
When Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a partial mobilization last week, he warned that Russia could use nuclear weapons to protect its “territorial integrity.” The warning was significant since Russian territory is set to expand into Ukraine once referendums on joining Russia are completed in Russian-controlled areas.
On Sunday, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said the US warned Russia it would face “catastrophic consequences” if it used a nuclear weapon in Ukraine.
Sullivan wouldn’t explain what that means but said the US “spelled out in detail” to Russia how it would respond. When asked if Russia had received such a message from the US, Peskov declined to comment.
Since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, there have been virtually no public high-level meetings between US and Russian officials. Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, in July, but the conversation was focused on a potential prisoner swap.