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Putin says West creating ‘real’ risk of nuclear war

February 29, 2024
putin war nuclear weapons GettyImages 1230850511 e1646689463467 1

Russia’s Vladimir Putin delivered his annual state of nation address on Thursday, accusing Western countries of creating the conditions for a global nuclear conflict that would “destroy civilization”. His statement came as the war between Russia and Ukraine entered its third year on February 24. 

The West is creating ‘real’ risk of nuclear war, Putin was quoted by news agency AFP as saying. The Russian President also warned that Moscow’s “strategic nuclear forces are in a state of full readiness for use”.

“…the consequences for the potential interventionists (in Ukraine war) will be much more tragic…They (West) should finally understand — and I just told them — that we too have weapons that can destroy targets on their territories,” Putin was quoted by the Moscow Times as saying on Thursday.

“Russia won’t let anyone interfere in its internal affairs,” Putin added.

Taking a another potshots at the West, Putin said the West claims that Russia is supposedly going to attack Europe. “…And you and I understand that they are talking nonsense,” he said, adding that at the “same time they themselves are choosing targets for striking our territory.”

“(Western nations) must realise that we also have weapons that can hit targets on their territory. All this really threatens a conflict with the use of nuclear weapons and the destruction of civilisation. Don’t they get that?!” said Putin.

Putin, who was speaking ahead of a March 15-17 presidential election when he is certain to be re-elected for another six-year term, lauded what he said was Russia’s vastly modernised nuclear arsenal, the largest in the world

As per Russian news agency TASS, Putin said Russia is ready for dialogue with the US on strategic stability. He, however, rejected the possibility of “strategic stability talks” with the US “in isolation from issues of Russia’s national security”.

“The West is trying to drag Russia into a new arms race, thereby repeating the 1980s trick. The US is hypocritical in trying to defeat Russia and offering talks on strategic stability at the same time,” Putin said. He suggested Western politicians recall the fate of those, like Nazi Germany’s Adolf Hitler and France’s Napoleon Bonaparte who unsuccessfully invaded his country in the past.

“But now the consequences will be far more tragic,” said Putin. “They think it (war) is a cartoon,” he was quoted by Reuters as saying.

President Vladimir Putin further emphasised that Russia’s economy would soon be among the world’s four largest in terms of purchasing power parity.

Boasting vast natural resources, Russia’s gross domestic product (GDP) rebounded sharply last year from a slump in 2022, but the growth relies heavily on state-funded arms and ammunition production for the war in Ukraine, Reuters reported.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Kashmir Monitor staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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