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Business News/ News / World/  ‘Russia ready for nuclear war over Ukraine’, says Vladimir Putin
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‘Russia ready for nuclear war over Ukraine’, says Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin warns the West of being technically ready for nuclear war amid tensions over Ukraine, ahead of his upcoming election. He emphasizes the readiness for a nuclear confrontation but sees no immediate need for it.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin. (AFP)Premium
Russia's President Vladimir Putin. (AFP)

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday warned the West that Moscow was technically ready for nuclear war. “If the US sent troops to Ukraine, it would be considered a significant escalation of the conflict", said Putin days before a March 15-17 election which is certain to give him another six years in power. 

He said the nuclear war scenario was not “rushing up" and he saw no need for the use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine, Reuters reported. 

Responding to a question whether the country was ready for a nuclear war, Putin told the Rossiya-1 television and news agency RIA said, “From a military-technical point of view, we are, of course, ready."

The United States understood that if it deployed American troops on Russian territory - or to Ukraine -  Russia would treat the move as an intervention, he said, adding that, “there (the US) are enough specialists in the field of Russian-American relations and the field of strategic restraint."

“Therefore, I don't think that here everything is rushing to it (nuclear confrontation), but we are ready for this," he added. 

Putin's nuclear warning came alongside another offer for talks on Ukraine as part of a new post-Cold War demarcation of European security. The US says Putin is not ready for serious talks over Ukraine, as per Reuters reports. 

The war in Ukraine has triggered the deepest crisis in Russia's relations with the West since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis and Putin has warned several times the West risks provoking a nuclear war if it sends troops to fight in Ukraine.

Putin sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine in February 2022, triggering full-scale war after eight years of conflict in eastern Ukraine between Ukrainian forces on one side and pro-Russian Ukrainians and Russian proxies on the other.

The West is grappling with how to support Kyiv against Russia, which now controls almost one-fifth of Ukrainian territory and is rearming much faster than the West and Ukraine.

Kyiv says it is defending itself against an imperial-style war of conquest designed to erase its national identity. Russia says the areas it controls in Ukraine are now Russia.

Putin has sent a series of public nuclear warnings to the US aimed at discouraging greater involvement in Ukraine - a move the Kremlin says would mark a slide into world war.

Putin reiterated the use of nuclear weapons was spelled out in the Kremlin's nuclear doctrine, which sets out the conditions under which it would use such a weapon: broadly a response to an attack using nuclear or other weapons of mass destruction, or the use of conventional weapons against Russia "when the very existence of the state is put under threat."

 

(With Reuters inputs)

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Published: 13 Mar 2024, 01:22 PM IST
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