‘Speak with Prudence’ – Biden’s ‘Armageddon’ Comments Blasted by French President Macron

U.S. President Joe Biden (L) talks with French President Emmanuel Macron as they arrive to attend a North Atlantic Council meeting during a NATO summit at NATO Headquarters in Brussels on March 24, 2022. (Photo by Thomas COEX / AFP) (Photo by THOMAS COEX/AFP via Getty Images)
THOMAS COEX/AFP via Getty Images

President Joe Biden’s dire warnings of “Armageddon” over the war in Ukraine were chastised by French President Emmanuel Macron, who said that the 79-year-old American leader should use “prudence” when speaking on such issues.

This week, Joe Biden shocked the world by saying that the world is the closest it has been to potential nuclear “Armageddon” since the Cold War.

“We have not faced the prospect of Armageddon since [President] Kennedy and the [1962] Cuban missile crisis,” Biden said. “I don’t think there’s any such thing as the ability to easily use a tactical nuclear weapon and not end up with Armageddon.”

The comments sparked fears in capitals throughout the world that Mr Biden was referring to American intelligence indicating an increased likelihood of Russian president Vladimir Putin deploying nuclear weapons in Ukraine, however the Pentagon and White House have denied that Biden was responding to any specific threat.

Responding to Biden’s outburst, French President Emmanuel Macron said, per The Telegraph on Friday: “We must speak with prudence when commenting on such matters.”

It is not the first time that the French leader has openly called on Biden to temper his rhetoric during the conflict, previously criticising him in March for calling Vladimir Putin a “butcher” and arguing for regime change in Russia.

“I would not use those words,” the French leader said of Biden’s comments at the time, adding that “everything must be done to stop the situation from escalating” and achieve “first a ceasefire and then the total withdrawal of [Russian] troops by diplomatic means.”

“If we want to do that, we can’t escalate either in words or actions,” Macron insisted.

Nearly eight months following the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, there is little talk anymore of ceasefires, and even Macron, who was one of the only world leaders willing to conduct bilateral talks with Putin at the outset of the conflict, is seemingly resigned to the likelihood of a protracted conflict.

Tensions have been rising following Russia’s formal annexation of the breakaway Donbas republics and two other regions following referendums, which were criticised by the international community given many have fled them due to the war, and questions over the reliability of a vote while Russian troops are present.

Both Vladimir Putin and Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky have come under criticism for seemingly expressing a willingness to see nuclear weapons used against their opponents.

While American intelligence analysts believe the probability of Putin deploying nuclear weapons remains low, he has caused concern by saying that he would use “all the means at our disposal” to defend Russia and that the United States had already set the precedent of using nuclear weapons during the Second World War.

Zelensky, for his part, called on his global allies to launch nuclear “preemptive strikes” on the Russian mainland, saying that NATO was responsible to “make it impossible for Russia to use nuclear weapons.”

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka


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