German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht called the statement of Russian President Vladimir Putin on the transfer of strategic deterrence forces to a special combat duty regime a threat; NATO will coordinate the overall reaction so that it does not contribute to escalation.

“Such statements should be taken seriously. We watched the statement with concern. Now it is up to NATO to discuss how to respond to this in order to contribute to the escalation. Now we are talking about keeping a cool head in this very, very difficult situation,” she said in an interview with ARD TV channel.

To the clarifying question whether NATO should prepare its nuclear arsenal, Lambrecht again noted that “this is a threat, we need to take seriously what Putin says, but we must prepare for this (reaction) with a cool head.”