On Wednesday, the Russian Foreign Ministry said the world’s five nuclear powers were “on the brink of a direct armed conflict”. They added that Western countries must stop “encouraging provocations with weapons of mass destruction, which can lead to catastrophic consequences”.
The five countries considered to be nuclear weapon states are the UK, the USA, France, China and Russia.
Other countries which have nuclear weaponry are North Korea, Pakistan, India and Israel, and between the nine nations, there are estimated to be 13,000 nuclear weapons across the world.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry also stated: “We are strongly convinced in the current complicated and turbulent situation, caused by irresponsible and impudent actions aimed at undermining our national security,
“The most immediate task is to avoid any military clash of nuclear powers.”
This year, Russian President Vladimir Putin appeared to have threatened the use of nuclear weapons during the war with Ukraine.
In September during a television address, President Putin said he was “not bluffing” when he said Russia was prepared to use “all available means” to defend its territory.
It came at a time Russia was holding referendums in four military-occupied regions of Ukraine, leading to the annexation of 15 percent of Ukraine’s territory.
President Putin also said the United States has set a “precedent” when they dropped two atomic bombs on Japan in order to end World War Two.
READ MORE: Putin facing rare dissent from Russia’s news media
In September, the United States warned Russia they would face “catastrophic consequences” if nuclear weapons were launched in Ukraine.
Jake Sullivan, the National Security Advisor of the United States said they had “communicated directly, privately to the Russians at very high levels” about how the country would respond if Vladimir Putin acted on his nuclear threats.
He did not go into detail about what had been discussed with Russia but said the US had made clear the “greater detail exactly what that would mean” to Russian government officials.
In a different interview, the security advisor said that Vladimir Putin’s threats were a “matter that we have to take deadly seriously”.