US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said the United States had urged Russian officials to "stop the loose talk" about the potential use of nuclear weapons.
He said this on CBS.
Blinken said the Kremlin has nuclear "subordination," but there is no certainty that anyone will tell Russian President Vladimir Putin "no" if he decides to launch nuclear weapons.
"And that's the Achilles' heel of any autocracy. There's usually no one who has the ability or the will to speak truth to power. And I think one of the reasons that Russia is in such chaos is that the system doesn't have no one who could effectively tell Putin that he is doing the wrong thing," the state secretary said.
Last Wednesday, Putin announced the mobilization of 300,000 reservists and threatened nuclear war, stressing that "this is not a bluff."
Blinken called Putin's rhetoric "irresponsible" and added that the United States had expressed its concern to Russia about its threats.
"We're focused on making sure that we all act responsibly, especially when it comes to this kind of freewheeling rhetoric. We've made it very clear to the Russians publicly, and also privately, to stop the freewheeling talk about nuclear weapons," Blinken said.
When asked whether the United States had communicated privately with the Kremlin about threats of nuclear war, the Secretary of State answered in the affirmative.
"It is very important that Moscow hears from us and knows from us that the consequences would be dire. And we made it very clear to them," he said.
"Vladimir Putin has a clear way out of the war he started, which is to end it. If Russia stops fighting, the war will end. If Ukraine stops fighting, Ukraine will end," Blinken stressed.
Like President Joe Biden last week, Blinken declined to share specifics about how the U.S. would respond to the use of nuclear weapons. However, he said the administration has a plan.
"President Biden was determined that as we are doing everything we can to help the Ukrainians defend themselves, as we are doing everything we can to rally other countries to put pressure on Russia, we are also determined that this war does not expand, does not expand," Blinken noted.
We will remind you that Western capitals are thinking about response plans in the event that the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, starts to implement his nuclear threats against Ukraine, and they are secretly sending warnings to the Kremlin about the possible consequences.