President Joe Biden said Monday that the U.S. shouldn’t panic about nuclear war amid the Russia-Ukraine crisis.
As he was leaving a Black History Month event at the White House, Biden was asked by a reporter if “Americans should be worried about a nuclear war?” The question came after Putin put his nuclear forces into “special combat readiness.”
“No,” the president responded.
White House officials have also said that the administration is not going to change its nuclear alert levels at this time.
“We are assessing President Putin’s directive and at this time we see no reason to change our own alert levels,” Press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters during Monday’s briefing.
“We think provocative rhetoric like this regarding nuclear weapons is dangerous, adds to the risk of miscalculation, should be avoided and we will not indulge in it.”
Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine on Thursday after months of escalation at the border. Ukrainian and Russian officials met Monday for a first round of peace talks. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that the key demands were an “immediate ceasefire and withdrawal of troops,” but his nation continues to be under fire.
This is a developing story and will be updated with more information as it becomes available.