Rory Stewart tells GB News 'it’s definitely possible' for Putin to unleash nuclear weapons on Ukraine

The former minister also called for harsher oil and gas sanctions on Russia

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Ex-minister Rory Stewart has told GB News “it’s definitely possible” for Vladimir Putin to use nuclear weapons during his ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

Russian attacks on its neighbour entered a ninth day on Friday, with Mr Putin and his forces showing no signs of backing away.

Fears continue to mount that the Russian President could draw on his heavy arsenal of nuclear weapons, particularly as Ukrainian forces continue to mount a courageous fightback.

And Mr Stewart, once International Development Secretary, believes Mr Putin could turn to nuclear weapons, but hopes he will think better of it.

Speaking to Isabel Oakeshott on GB News, Mr Stewart said: “It’s definitely possible.

"Russia, unlike countries like Britain, exercise and plan to use nuclear weapons in a more conventional war, it’s part of their armoury.

“They haven’t yet deployed them, but the thing that will hopefully stop them deploying them is the sense that Ukraine is so close to Russia.

“Many Russians have relatives, many, many others have friends in Ukraine and the idea of using nuclear tactical weapons on your closest neighbours would give even Putin pause for thought."

In response to Russia's invasion, the West launched a raft of sanctions aimed at crippling the economy.

But Mr Stewart has called for even more to be done, with restrictions on oil and gas at the top of his wish list.

He added: “It’s been tougher than I expected, it’s been better than I expected but it’s still not good enough. Germany surprised me, it’s really stepped up, it's extraordinary.

“Boris Johnson has made the right call to back Ukraine and not compromise with Putin but it’s not enough because we need oil and gas sanctions.

"At the moment, the one thing Putin is betting on is that Britain and, in particular Germany and Italy, are going to import Russian oil and gas. His economy is in trouble, but the one thing he believes nobody will ever do is taking their oil and gas.

“There would be an affect in energy prices and the Germany and Italy economies which will spill over to the UK economy, but It’s nothing compared to a big European war.”