Russian military officials recently met to talk about the potential use of tactical nuclear weapons in Ukraine, The New York Times reported Tuesday, citing U.S. intelligence.
Washington learned last month of the conversations, which did not include Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to the newspaper.
U.S. officials did not disclose the possible scenarios in which Moscow would resort to nuclear weapons.
John Kirby, an official in the U.S. National Security Council, refused to comment specifically to The New York Times about the allegations of such a Russian discussion.
“We’ve been clear from the outset that Russia’s comments about the potential use of nuclear weapons are deeply concerning, and we take them seriously,” Kirby said, The New York Times reported.
While Putin has made several nuclear threats since the start of the invasion of Ukraine in late February, the Russian leader last week played down the idea of such an escalation.
“We see no need for that,” Putin said in an address to the Valdai Discussion Club.
“There is no point in that, neither political, nor military.”
Despite the reports of Russian discussions, U.S. officials maintain that they have seen no evidence of Russia transporting its nuclear arsenal or taking steps that might indicate an imminent strike against Ukraine’s forces.
“We continue to monitor this as best we can, and we see no indications that Russia is making preparations for such use,” Kirby said, The New York Times reported.