Angus King: Ukraine No-Fly Zone ‘Dangerous’ — Russians Have Low Threshold for Using Nukes

Senator Angus King (I-ME) said Monday on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360” that NATO implementing a no-fly zone over Ukraine would be “dangerous” because the Russian would see it as an escalation and potentially use nuclear weapons in response.

King said, “I think a no-fly zone is dangerous because it would be viewed, I’m sure, as a significant escalation. Now, if we keep supplying, which we are, anti-aircraft missiles like the Stinger or anti-aircraft equipment like the Stinger or other anti-aircraft capabilities, that’s a kind of no-fly zone without getting into a situation of either having nato or American planes shooting down Russian planes. That’s the danger, and, you know, Putin, as I say, is trapped, and I don’t want to give him a pretext for widening this attack and moving into Poland.”

He added, “There’s something behind all of this that really needs to be discussed, and that is that the Russians have a much lower threshold for using nuclear weapons than anybody else in the world that I know of. They actually have a doctrine called escalate to deescalate. This has been their announced strategy for some years, and that means using tactical nuclear weapons if they’re losing on the battlefield. Vladimir Putin has made clear that this is something that he considers to be in his arsenal.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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