It is unclear whether NATO would get involved in that scenario, Jones said. One senior official previously said that a Russian nuclear strike could trigger a “physical response” from NATO itself.

However, Jones said that NATO declaring war on Russia could create a major war that could pull in other countries like China, which is an outcome that the organization likely wants to avoid.

To avoid that scenario, NATO would likely first turn to increased sanctions and support Ukraine with weapons.

Alia Shoaib is a junior news reporter on the weekend team, based in London. She was previously an editorial intern at The Economist’s 1843 magazine and a social media fellow at The Economist. Prior to that she was a part-time researcher for The Times foreign desk. Alia has written articles for the The Independent, The Guardian, 1843 Magazine, The Economist, and others. She also has an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London. This first appeared in Insider.

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