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Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina has warned that a nuclear attack by Russia on Ukraine would be perceived as an attack on NATO, despite Ukraine not being part of the alliance.

Graham’s warning comes after former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s statement that warned Russia would likely use nuclear weapons if Ukrainian forces jeopardize Russian territory. Graham responded via Twitter, saying, “To my Russian friends who talk about using nuclear weapons in Ukraine: You need to understand that would be an attack on NATO itself, given Ukraine’s proximity to NATO territory. Time to sober up, realize that your barbaric invasion of Ukraine is not working, withdraw and save many young Russians from pointless death.”

Graham’s post included a retweet of an article that detailed Medvedev’s threat, where the former president invoked Russia’s nuclear doctrine, which sanctions a nuclear counter-strike if the nation’s territory is under conventional attack. Currently, Medvedev serves as the deputy chairman of the Security Council of the Russian Federation.

This all comes after Senator Graham and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) introduced a resolution implying that any use of tactical nuclear weapons by Russia, Belarus, or their affiliates that spreads radioactive contaminants into NATO territory would be treated as an attack on the alliance. Senator Blumenthal underscored the resolution’s intent, stating, “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.”


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