Merkel calls for “taking Putin’s statements seriously” and says “this is not a sign of weakness.”

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Former German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday called for “taking seriously” the statements of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has recently threatened to use nuclear weapons in case of a threat against Russia’s territorial integrity in the framework of the war in Ukraine.

“One must take his words seriously,” said Merkel, who has asked “not to minimize them from the outset as a bluff” and “to deal with them seriously,” as picked up by German broadcaster RND.

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“This is not a sign of weakness or appeasement, but a sign of political wisdom, a wisdom that helps to maintain a margin of maneuver or, at least as important as that, to achieve one,” the former chancellor has explained.

Putin warned last week, after announcing the “partial mobilization” decree, of the possible use of “all means” in case of a “threat to the territorial integrity” of Russia and stressed that “it is not a bluff,” comments that triggered a wave of criticism from the international community.

For his part, former Russian president and current deputy chairman of the Russian Security Council, Dmitry Medvedev, said Tuesday that “NATO would not intervene directly” in case Moscow uses nuclear weapons against “the Ukrainian regime,” while defending that the country “has the right” to use this weaponry “if necessary.”

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