Putin warns Russia could provide long-range weapons to attack West – and stays firm on nuclear option

World

Vladimir Putin has warned he could provide long-range weapons to nations to strike Western targets in response to NATO allies allowing Ukraine to use their arms to attack Russian territory.

The Russian president also re-issued Moscow’s readiness to use nuclear weapons if it sees a threat to its sovereignty.

During an audience with international journalists on Wednesday, he said the recent actions by the West will further undermine international security and could lead to “very serious problems”.

“That would mark their direct involvement in the war against the Russian Federation, and we reserve the right to act the same way.”

It comes after the US, UK and Germany authorised Ukraine to hit some targets on Russian soil with the long-range weapons they are supplying to Kyiv.

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Mr Putin also claimed that using some Western-supplied weapons meant military personnel of those countries were controlling the missiles and selecting targets.

He used this as justification for Moscow being able to take “asymmetrical” steps elsewhere in the world.

“If they consider it possible to deliver such weapons to the combat zone to launch strikes on our territory and create problems for us, why don’t we have the right to supply weapons of the same type to some regions of the world where they can be used to launch strikes on sensitive facilities of the countries that do it to Russia?” Mr Putin added.

“We will think about it.”

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Asked whether Russia could resort to using nuclear arms, Mr Putin said the conditions for using that arsenal are clearly spelled out in Moscow’s security doctrine.

“For some reason, they believe in the West that Russia will never use it,” he said.

“Look at what is written there,” he said of Russia’s nuclear doctrine.

“If somebody’s actions threaten our sovereignty and territorial integrity, we consider it possible to use all means at our disposal.”

Image:
Mr Putin speaks to senior news leaders of international news agencies on the sidelines of the St Petersburg International Economic Forum. Pic: Valentina Pevtsova, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP

In the discussions – that lasted more than three hours – the Russian president added that nothing will change in terms of Russia-US relations whether Joe Biden or Donald Trump wins the US election in November.

“We will work with any president the American people elect.

“I say absolutely sincerely, I wouldn’t say that we believe that after the election something will change on the Russian track in the American politics.”

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