Kremlin explains Putin's 'Russia ready for nuclear war' remarks

Putin did not threaten to start a nuclear war – Kremlin

In his recent interview with Russian journalist Dmitry Kisilev, President Putin did not threaten to use nuclear weapons. Putin's comment only came as an answer to the journalist's question, Kremlin's official spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

"It was a question from the journalist that the president answered. He did not make any statement there. The President was just talking about the reasons that could make the use of nuclear weapons inevitable,” Peskov said.

According to him, Western media "deliberately omitted Putin's words” when he said that the option of using tactical nuclear weapons "never came to mind” despite all the different scenarios on the battlefield.

Washington distorts context of Putin's interview

Commenting on the statement from White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre who said that US President Joe Biden had been informed about Putin's interview, Peskov said that Washington "deliberately distorted the context” and "did not want to hear” Putin.

Putin's interview with Dmitry Kiselev aired on March 13. During the interview, the journalist asked the president whether Russia was really ready for a nuclear war.

"From a military-technical point of view, we are, of course, ready. They [nuclear missiles] are constantly in a state of combat readiness,” Putin replied. He also stated that there was no need to use tactical nuclear weapons in the conflict in Ukraine.

Speaking about tactical nuclear weapons, the president emphasised that there was never a need to use them during the special operation in Ukraine. The journalist then asked Putin whether he ever thought of such an option, to which Putin replied: "No, why?”

"We have our principles. They suggest that we are ready to use weapons, including any weapons, including the ones you mentioned, if it goes about the existence of the Russian state, our sovereignty and independence. "We have everything enshrined in our strategy, we haven't changed it,” Putin added.

The United States has been developing its own nuclear forces lately as well, Putin noted. However, it does not mean that the Americans are willing to start a war. At the same time, if the United States conducts nuclear tests, Russia may do the same.

"[The possibility of US nuclear tests] is due to the fact that when new warheads appear, as some experts believe, it is not enough to test them only on a computer, they need to be tested in their natural form. There are such ideas in the United States, they are floating around. We know about that, and we are watching too,” the president noted.

Putin also spoke about the topic of the presence of Western troops in Ukraine. If the United States decided to send its forces there, Russia would regard such a step as an intervention.

"I've said before that [US President Joe] Biden represents the traditional political school, and we can see it. In addition to Biden and others, there are enough specialists in the field of Russian-American relations and strategic restraint. Therefore, I don't think that everything is rushing so head-on there, but we are ready for this,” Putin concluded.

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Author`s name Andrey Mihayloff
Editor Dmitry Sudakov