Putin warns Russia could supply weapons to strike West

Legend, Putin spoke to foreign journalists at the annual St. Petersburg International Economic Forum

  • Author, George Wright
  • Role, BBC News

Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned that Moscow could arm countries to attack Western targets.

Mr. Putin made the statement while criticizing the West’s delivery of long-range weapons to Ukraine.

Several countries, including the United States, have given Ukraine the green light to strike targets in Russia.

Such action could lead to “very serious problems,” Mr. Putin told foreign journalists.

“If anyone thinks that it is possible to supply such weapons to a war zone to attack our territory and create problems for us, why do we not have the right to supply weapons of the same class to the regions of the world where there will be strikes? on sensitive installations in these countries? » declared the Russian president.

“In other words, the answer may be asymmetrical. We will think about it.”

He did not specify which countries Moscow could supply weapons to.

“When they say that there will be more missiles hitting targets on Russian territory, this definitely destroys Russian-German relations,” Mr. Putin said.

Ukraine has used U.S. weapons to strike inside Russia in recent days, a U.S. senator and a Western official told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

Heavy fighting has raged northeast of Kharkiv since a new Russian advance on Ukraine’s northern border. Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second city, is just 30 kilometers from the border.

Ukraine says North Korean missiles are being used on Ukrainian territory, and Western intelligence agencies say Russia has used Iranian-made drones in the conflict.

Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

Mr. Putin was speaking to foreign journalists at the annual International Economic Forum in St. Petersburg.

He also warned that the West was wrong to assume that Moscow would never use nuclear weapons.

“For some reason the West believes that Russia will never use it,” Mr. Putin said when asked by Reuters about the risk of a nuclear escalation in Ukraine.

“We have a nuclear doctrine, look what it says. If someone’s actions threaten our autonomy and territorial integrity, we consider it possible for us to use all the means at our disposal.

“This should not be taken lightly, superficially.”

Mr Putin also rejected the idea that Russia intends to attack NATO territory.

“You shouldn’t make Russia an enemy. You’re only hurting yourself with that, you know?” » said Mr. Putin.

“They thought Russia wanted to attack NATO. Have you gone completely crazy? It’s as thick as this table.

Who invented this? It’s just absurd, you know? Total rubbish. »

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