Home » Prime Minister De Croo responds decisively to Russian nuclear threat: “We should not be deterred”

Prime Minister De Croo responds decisively to Russian nuclear threat: “We should not be deterred”

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© BELGIUM

Prime Minister Alexander De Croo responds decisively to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s threat to use nuclear weapons against the West. “We must not be deterred, but show that we are determined to defend every NATO centimeter,” the Prime Minister said during question time in Parliament on Thursday.

“Today Russia is again gaining ground and has allies who supply weapons. Now Putin is also threatening to use nuclear weapons and we take that threat seriously, but there is only one answer: determination, unity and action,” the prime minister said. On Thursday, the Russian president lashed out hard at the West.

Willingness to take action greater than ever

He was responding to French President Emmanuel Macron, who did not rule out that the West would one day send ground troops to Ukraine. “They must understand that we also have weapons that can hit targets on their territory,” Putin said during his annual speech to parliamentarians.

That threat did not fall on deaf ears, but Prime Minister De Croo still calls for unity and determination. “Putin assumed that NATO would give up and leave Ukraine to its fate. But today the willingness to take action is greater than it has ever been.” For example, the federal government announced on Wednesday that it is purchasing 200 million euros worth of artillery ammunition for Ukraine, which can be delivered by the end of March.

“Putin will pay for weapons”

The Prime Minister emphasizes that “Putin will pay for those weapons”. The government uses the profits made on the Russian billions frozen in our country. That Russian capital amounts to more than 260 billion euros across the European Union, 95 percent of which is parked with the Belgian securities house Euroclear. According to the Prime Minister, this will generate 15 billion euros over the next three years.

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On Monday evening, French President Emmanuel Maron announced that the supply of troops “cannot be ruled out”. However, De Croo thinks that is a bridge too far. “Our country has no intention of sending troops to Ukraine. But that was not the question of (Ukrainian President, ed.) Zelensky,” he emphasizes. “We also provide other support. For example, we are an active partner in the F-16 coalition (…) and we work with our industry on anti-aircraft solutions and small caliber ammunition, amounting to more than 600 million euros in deliveries this year, again financed with Russian money .”

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