German chancellor says risk of Russia using nuclear weapons has lessened

German chancellor says risk of Russia using nuclear weapons has lessened

Scholz says international community’s strong reaction forced Russia to stop threatening to use nuclear weapons

BERLIN (AA) - The risk of Russia using nuclear weapons has lessened, Germany’s chancellor said in remarks published on Thursday.

“We see that the war is continuing with undiminished brutality. One thing has changed for the time being: Russia has stopped threatening to use nuclear weapons,” Olaf Scholz said in an interview with Funke media group.

Scholz argued that the international community’s strong stance against the use of nuclear weapons in the Ukraine conflict has marked a “red line” for Russia.

“During my visit to Beijing, Chinese President Xi and I jointly expressed that nuclear weapons must not be used. Shortly thereafter, the G20 countries also reaffirmed this position,” he said, referring to the meeting of leading industrial and emerging nations in Bali, Indonesia, last month.

- Security guarantees for Russia

Asked about French President Emmanuel Macron’s comments about possible security guarantees for Russia, Scholz underlined that Moscow should first end the war, and pull its troops from Ukraine.

“The priority now is for Russia to end the war immediately and withdraw its troops. It is right thing to do then to discuss the issue of how we can achieve security for Europe,” Scholz said.

“Of course we are ready, for example, to talk to Russia about arms control in Europe. We offered to do so even before the war, and this position has not changed,” he added.

Macron said on Saturday that the West should consider how to respond to Russia's stated need for security guarantees if President Vladimir Putin agrees to negotiations to end the war with Ukraine. In an interview with CBS News, Macron said a policy of isolation was the worst solution, especially against a leader like Putin.

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