Russia’s president put the country’s nuclear deterrent forces on high alert because of remarks made by Liz Truss, the Kremlin has said.
Putin’s order on Sunday escalated fears of a global nuclear conflict, as Russian forces continue their invasion of Ukraine.
And the Russian president’s spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, said on Monday that “unacceptable” comments had been made by Western leaders – pointing the finger specifically at the foreign secretary.
“There were unacceptable statements about possible conflict situations and even confrontations and clashes between Nato and Russia,” he said.
“I will not name the authors of these statements, although it was the British Foreign Secretary.”
Peskov’s comments come after Truss said on Sunday that if Putin is not stopped in Ukraine, it could lead to conflict between Nato countries and Russia.
Truss said: “If we don’t stop Putin in Ukraine we are going to see others under threat – the Baltics, Poland, Moldova, and it could end up in a conflict with Nato.
“We do not want to go there. That is why it is so important we make the sacrifices now.”
Russia would ‘not stop at Ukraine’, Truss previously warned
Truss warned earlier this month that Russia would “not stop at Ukraine” and suggested that a regional war would produce problems in the wider continent.
She said at the time: “The big risk, of course, is if there is an invasion into Ukraine that will be hugely damaging for Russia and Ukraine. And it will further undermine the stability of Europe.
“This, I fear, would not stop at Ukraine. This is an attack on the neighbouring states of Russia and other east European countries in trying to undermine legitimacy of them being part of NATO.”
She also warned that a Russian invasion of Ukraine would be a “very dangerous moment” for the entire world, and pointed to Russia’s close partners, Iran and China.
“We cannot give a message that aggression gets rewards,” Truss noted.
She added: “If we saw an invasion into Ukraine, there would be severe costs in terms of a long-running conflict, we could see the undermining of security more broadly in Europe and could see other aggressors around the world see it as an opportunity to expand their ambitions too.”
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace also warned last week that Putin “won’t stop” after invading Ukraine.
“He is trying to invade Ukraine. He won’t stop after Ukraine. He will use everything in the Baltic States. He doesn’t believe the Baltic States are really countries,” Wallace said.
Well she began to trend of Twitter along with #PorkMarkets
However, could it be a bit made up by the Kremlin?
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “Whatever political disagreements any of us have with Liz Truss – and I have many deep differences with her – we should not fall for this transparent Russian attempt to divert.
“The only person responsible for Putin’s despicable nuclear threat is Putin.”
Downing Street also said the comments from Mr Peskov were an attempt to distract from Russia’s difficulties in the Ukraine campaign.
“It remains the case that the rhetoric we are seeing from Putin’s regime is designed to distract from the situation on the ground, that is very much our focus,” the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said.
An ally of Ms Truss said: “Nothing Liz has said warrants that sort of escalation. It’s clearly designed to distract from the situation on the ground in Ukraine.”