A suggestion by an American senator that the US should consider using nuclear weapons against Moscow in case of military escalation in Ukraine is ?irresponsible,? the Russian Embassy in Washington claimed on Wednesday.
The diplomatic statement comes after Republican Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi told Fox News TV on Tuesday that the US president should keep open the possibility of military action.
"We start making a mistake when we take options off the table," Wicker said. "It could mean that we participate, I would not rule that out, nor would I rule out American troops on the ground."
However, most shockingly, the Republican also suggested that Washington should consider launching nuclear weapons.
"We don't rule out first-use nuclear action, we don't think it will happen, but there are certain things in negotiations, if you are going to be tough, that you don't take off the table," he explained.
In response, the embassy blasted Wicker's words, stating that "joking about nuclear weapons is not appropriate for an American politician working at the US legislative body."
"Such statements are irresponsible," the statement, posted on Facebook, continued. "We advise all the unenlightened to read the joint statement of the Presidents of Russia and the United States of June 16, 2021 thoroughly. This document reaffirms the two countries' commitment to the principle that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought."
Wicker's statement came the same day as Russian President Vladimir Putin and his American counterpart Joe Biden conducted talks over a secure video link. According to the Kremlin, the conversation took place in a "sincere and business-like" manner, with both sides agreeing to continue to work together in the future. According to the Russian Embassy, however, Wicker's words go against the spirit of the attempt to improve bilateral discussions.
"Wicker's ill-considered statements will hardly help us to find a way out of the critical stage in current Russian-American relations," the statement said.
As things stand, tensions remain high on the frontier between Ukraine and Russia, and Moscow has been accused of planning an invasion. The US-led NATO bloc has warned that any military incursion into Ukraine would be met with a barrage of sanctions.