United States department spokesman Ned Price has been speaking to reporters about Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s comments that the world should not underestimate the threat of nuclear war.
Price said it was an attempt to distract from what he described as Russia’s failure in Ukraine.
“Loose talk of nuclear weapons, of nuclear escalation is especially irresponsible, it’s the height of irresponsibility,” he said.
But Price said the US was nevertheless paying close attention “to Russia’s activities, to what it’s doing and what it’s not doing”.
He said the US saw no reason to change its own nuclear posture, though.
Price denied that Monday’s remarks by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin that the US goal was to weaken Russia had provoked the Kremlin rhetoric.