NATO head tells Russia it cannot win nuclear war

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NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg speaks during a news conference on the eve of a NATO summit, amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine, in Brussels, Belgium March 23, 2022. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

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BRUSSELS, March 23 (Reuters) - NATO warned on Wednesday against Russia's war in Ukraine sliding into a nuclear confrontation between Moscow and the West.

"Russia should stop this dangerous irresponsible nuclear rhetoric," NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told a news conference. "But let there be no doubt about our readiness to protect and defend allies against any threat anytime."

"Russia must understand that it can never win a nuclear war," he said on the eve of a summit of the Western military alliance's national leaders in Brussels. "NATO is not part of the conflict ... it provides support to Ukraine but isn't part of the conflict."

"NATO will not send the troops into Ukraine... It is extremely important to provide support to Ukraine and we are stepping up. But at the same time it is also extremely important to prevent this conflict becoming a full-fledged war between NATO and Russia."

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Reporting by john Chalmers, Gabriela Baczynska

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