European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell, seen speaking in Prague alongside Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky, voices hope for reviving the Iran nuclear deal


  • Borrell said the West and NATO will give a 'powerful answer' if Russia uses nuclear weapons in Ukraine
  • Medvedev dismissed claims of Moscow possibly using nuclear weapons in Ukraine as 'paranoia'
  • Russia continues to shell civilian infrastructure in Ukraine

EU diplomatic chief Josep Borrell on Thursday warned that the West will annihilate Russia's military if a nuclear attack is launched on Ukraine.

Speaking during a European Diplomatic Academy event in Bruges, Borrell said the U.S., EU and NATO are serious about giving a "powerful answer" if Russia uses nuclear weapons in Ukraine.

"There is a nuclear threat, and Putin is saying that he's not bluffing. Well, he cannot afford bluffing. It has to be clear that the people who support Ukraine, and the EU, and the member states, the US, NATO are not bluffing either. Any nuclear attack against Ukraine will create an answer. Not a nuclear answer, but a powerful answer from the military side -- that the Russian army will be annihilated, and Putin should not be bluffing," Borrell said.

The diplomatic chief's remark was in reference to Russian President Vladimir Putin's previous threat of using nuclear weapons in the war in Ukraine to "protect the integrity of our country." The Russian leader had said that his warning is "not a bluff."

In response to Borrell's remarks, Dmitry Medvedev, the former Russian president and deputy chairman of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, dismissed claims about the possibility of Moscow using nuclear weapons in Ukraine as "paranoia."

"Let's leave the paranoia about the Russian nuclear strike on his conscience," Medvedev wrote on his Vkontakte page Thursday. "By the way, I wrote recently that the Western states don't care a jot about Ukraine and its Bandera regime. They don't want to offer them all-out support. Moreover, overseas and European rabble-rousers are definitely not going to die for them in a nuclear apocalypse. That is why their response will be careful and balanced. And this is the second meaning of Borrell's remark."

Borrell's warning comes as Russia continued to launch deadly strikes on Ukrainian civilian targets Thursday as part of what Putin said was a response to the bombing of a bridge in the Crimean Peninsula. He accused Ukraine's secret service of ordering the attack, but Kyiv has yet to take direct responsibility.

Thursday's shelling included a "kamikaze" drone attack on the Kyiv region and the bombing of residential buildings in Mykolaiv. It is presently unclear how many Ukrainian civilians were killed in Russia's missile strikes.

Russia's foreign ministry behind a billboard showing the letter 'Z' -- a tactical insignia of Russian troops in Ukraine -- with the caption 'Victory is forged in fire'