Russia does not threaten anyone with nuclear weapons, but one must not forget that Moscow has them, Russian President Vladimir Putin said during the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.
According to Putin, one can often hear irresponsible politicians at a very high level talking about a possibility for a nuclear war to break out. Russia responds to such rhetoric accordingly, but as soon as the Russian side responds, they "cling to it and say that Russia is a threat."
"We are not a threat. Yet, everyone should know what we have them and that we will use them if we need to protect our sovereignty,” he stressed.
The nuclear war rhetoric reappeared in the media in February of this year after the start of Russia's military operation in Ukraine. On February 27, Putin ordered the deterrent forces, which include strategic nuclear forces, to be put on high alert. In early June, the Ministry of Defense conducted exercises with the use of Yars nuclear missile systems.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called the risk of a nuclear conflict very significant. However, he pointed to the agreement of the nuclear powers to exclude such a war.
The United States urged to reduce the number of statements about the start of a nuclear war in order to ease the intensity of the rhetoric. US Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan called Lavrov's words about the risk of a nuclear war to break out "nuclear blackmail".
Dmitry Medvedev, Security Council deputy chairman warned on May 12 that NATO arms supplies to Ukraine and NATO exercises near the border with Russia increase the risk of Russia-NATO confrontation. This, in turn, threatens a "full-fledged nuclear war."
The Kremlin pointed out its readiness to give the "most decisive response" to attempts to interfere in the special operation in Ukraine.
Before the start of the special military operation, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky said at the Munich Security Conference that he would initiate consultations within the framework of the Budapest Memorandum, which provided for Ukraine's renunciation of nuclear weapons. If the summit does not take place, Kyiv may invalidate the document, Zelensky said.
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The General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces is preparing for a possible offensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of Russia Dmitry Medvedev said