Milley spoke in an exclusive interview at the conclusion of a meeting hosted by Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin with allied countries at Ramstein Air Base in Germany. Austin gathered the countries to discuss the current situation in Ukraine.

“If this is left to stand, if there is no answer to this aggression, if Russia gets away with this cost-free, then so goes the so-called international order, and if that happens, then we’re entering into an era of seriously increased instability,” Milley said.

“What’s at stake is the global international security order that was put in place in 1945. That international order has lasted 78 years, it’s prevented great power war, and underlining that entire concept is the idea that large nations will not conduct military aggression against smaller nations, and that’s exactly what’s happened here, an unprovoked military aggression by Russia against a smaller nation,” he added.

Milley also said it was “completely irresponsible” for any senior leader of a nuclear power to start “rattling a nuclear saber” when asked about Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov calling the danger of a nuclear war “serious and real.”

“Any time a senior leader of a nation-state starts rattling a nuclear saber, then everyone takes it seriously,” he said.

Lavrov said Monday that nuclear deterrence is Russia’s “principled position,” but he added, “The danger is serious, it is real, it cannot be underestimated.”

Milley said the US military is monitoring the nuclear threat from Russia along with “friends and allies”

This story is breaking and will be updated.

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