The Kremlin said on Thursday that comments made by Russian President Vladimir Putin in an interview to state media did not constitute a threat to use them.

Putin told the West on Wednesday that Russia was technically ready for nuclear war and that if the U.S. sent troops to Ukraine, it would be considered a significant escalation of the conflict.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday that Putin was merely answering a journalist’s questions and restating the already well known circumstances in which Russia would theoretically be forced to use nuclear weapons.