RUSSIA has said it took the decision to put its nuclear forces on high alert because of statements made by UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss.

The Tory MP was picked out by Vladimir Putin’s Kremlin, despite claims they did not want to name names.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon defends Liz Truss after Russia blames her for Putin's nuclear move

Dmitry Peskov, a spokesperson for the Moscow regime, told a press briefing: “Statements were made by various representatives at various levels on possible altercations or even collisions and clashes between Nato and Russia.

“We believe that such statements are absolutely unacceptable.

“I would not call the authors of these statements by name, although it was the British foreign minister.”

The National:

On Sunday, reports emerged that Putin (above) had ordered his nuclear deterrent forces onto a “special regime of combat duty”.

Speaking at a meeting with his top officials, the Russian president said that leading Nato powers had made “aggressive statements” alongside the West imposing hard-hitting financial sanctions against Russia and him personally.

A Foreign Office source told the BBC: "I don't think anything Liz has said warrants that sort of rhetoric or escalation." They added that Truss had always spoken about Nato as a "defensive alliance".

It came after Truss said there could be a conflict between Russia and Nato if Putin is not stopped in Ukraine.

The Foreign Secretary said: “If we don’t stop Putin in Ukraine we are going to see others under threat – the Baltics, Poland, Moldova – and it could end up in a conflict with Nato. We do not want to go there. That is why it is so important we make the sacrifices now.”

"This long-running conflict is about freedom and democracy in Europe," she added.

Truss also made headlines after she gave her backing to any British nationals who wanted to go to Ukraine and fight against Russia.

President Volodymyr Zelensky announced the formation of a new “international legion” to help defend his country. Asked if she would support Brits joining, Truss said: "The people of Ukraine are fighting for freedom and democracy, not just for Ukraine but for the whole of Europe.

“Absolutely, if people want to support that struggle I would support them in doing that.”

However, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace, who served in the Scots Guards, said there were “better ways” for Brits to help.

Furthermore, Prime Minister Boris Johnson dismissed Russian nuclear threats as a "distraction", suggesting Putin's actions linked to the fact his forces were meeting with “more resistance than the Kremlin had bargained for”.

Commenting on the international dispute, the First Minister said pointing to Truss was a "transparent Russian attempt to divert".

Nicola Sturgeon wrote: "Whatever political disagreements any of us have with Liz Truss - and I have many deep differences with her - we should not fall for this transparent Russian attempt to divert.

"The only person responsible for Putin’s despicable nuclear threat is Putin."