Nuclear disarmament expert, former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn gives Russian threat assessment

WABE’s Jim Burress spoke with former Georgia Senator Sam Nunn, co-founder and co-chair of the Nuclear Threat Initiative.

Al Such / WABE

As Russia escalates its offensive in Ukraine, rhetoric from Russian President Vladimir Putin has raised international concerns over the use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine.

Former Georgia US Senator Sam Nunn is co-founder and co-chair of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, which works to prevent catastrophic attacks around the globe.

WABE’s “All Things Considered” host Jim Burress spoke to Nunn about the likelihood of such an attack and what it would mean for the rest of the world.

He says, whereas before, countries have operated on the premise that nuclear weapons would only be used to prevent nuclear or large-scale conventional war, now Putin is threatening nuclear attacks to protect occupied territory.

“That makes nuclear war and conventional war much more likely, so this is an extremely dangerous precedent,” said Nunn, “And the world has a real stake in making sure it does not succeed.”

Nunn said the language Putin is using has made everyone less safe and has increased the probability that countries will build up their nuclear arsenal.

Christopher Alston contributed to this report.