(NewsNation) — Top NATO leaders say any chemical attack by Russia on Ukraine would change the course of the war, but they are not saying whether NATO would take military action.
NATO allies are worried about Russian rhetoric and fear that Moscow might want to create a pretext to use chemical weapons in Ukraine. The leaders are likely to agree to send equipment to help Ukraine protect against chemical, biological and nuclear threats.
There are 24,000 potentially hazardous sites in Ukraine that Russia could use as chemical weapons, intentionally or unintentionally.
Russian forces Monday shelled a chemical plant in Sumy, Ukraine that resulted in ammonia being released into the air. Residents were forced inside and it was a way for Russia to use chemical warfare without actually deploying weapons.
It’s not just bombing chemical plants to attack civilians, Russia still has chemical weapons it can use. Russia has been blamed for use of nerve agents against a former Russian agent and his daughter in England as well as an attempted assassination of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.
A new NewsNation/Decision poll of more than 1,000 registered voters found that nearly half of those surveyed are very concerned about the use of chemical warfare in future conflicts. Less than 2% are not at all concerned.
This comes as NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg was asked whether a chemical weapons attack is a red line for NATO.
“I will not speculate beyond the fact that NATO is always ready to defend, to protect and to react to any type of attack on a NATO-allied country,” Stoltenberg said.