Jun 22 2023

Graham, Blumenthal Introduce Resolution To Address Threat Of Russian Tactical Nukes

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut) today introduced a resolution to respond to the Russian Federation delivering tactical nuclear weapons to the Republic of Belarus. This is the first time Russia has deployed nuclear warheads beyond its borders since the fall of the Soviet Union, and represents a serious threat to global security in the midst of the war in Ukraine.

Graham and Blumenthal noted their resolution holds that any use of a tactical nuclear weapon by Russia, Belarus or their proxies, or the destruction of a nuclear facility that disperses radioactive contaminants into NATO territory would be viewed as an attack on NATO itself, requiring an Article V response.

“Senator Blumenthal and I want to put everyone on notice that the threat of the use of a nuclear device by Russia is real. The best way to deter this threat is to give Putin’s Russia clarity as to what happens if they use nuclear weapons,” said Graham. “Our message is to those around Putin. If you do this and follow his order, should he give it, you can expect a massive response from NATO. You will be at war with NATO.”

“This resolution is meant to send a message to Vladimir Putin and to his military: they will be destroyed if they use tactical nuclear weapons or if they destroy a nuclear plant in a way that threatens surrounding NATO nations,” said Blumenthal. “This message ought to be taken seriously by Putin’s generals – his military risks total obliteration by NATO forces if they are so reckless and irrational as to resort to tactical nuclear weapons.”

The resolution:

  • Agrees that the deployment of the Russian Federation’s tactical nuclear weapons within the Republic of Belarus is a threat to Ukraine and NATO member states;
  • Views the use of any tactical nuclear weapon by the Russian Federation, the Republic of Belarus, or their proxies, or the destruction of a nuclear facility, dispersing radioactive contaminates into NATO territory causing significant harm to human life, as an attack on NATO requiring an immediate response, including the implementation of Article V of the North Atlantic Treaty; and
  • Urges the current administration to consult with NATO leaders and other European partners to develop a comprehensive response to minimize the threat to civilians and coordinate a diplomatic and military response commensurate with the situation. 

Full text of the resolution is HERE.

Watch the Graham-Blumenthal Press Conference HERE.