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Putin says Russian nuclear weapons 'more advanced' than in US

By News Desk

March 14, 2024 11:03 PM


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President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday lauded Moscow's nuclear arsenal and warned that he was ready to deploy the weapons if Russia's sovereignty was threatened.

The Kremlin has touted its nuclear prowess throughout its two-year offensive in Ukraine, last month warning Western countries there was a "real" risk of nuclear catastrophe if they escalated the conflict.

The United States, however, said it had seen no sign Russia was planning to use nuclear weapons anytime soon.

"We have not seen any reasons to adjust our own nuclear posture, nor any indication that Russia is preparing to use a nuclear weapon in Ukraine," White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said when asked about Putin's remarks.

"Nevertheless, Russia's nuclear rhetoric has been reckless and irresponsible throughout this conflict," she added.

Putin's latest comments come just days ahead of elections in Russia that are all but guaranteed to hand him another six years in power as his military posts gains in Ukraine.

"Our triad, the nuclear triad, it is more modern than any other triad. Only we and the Americans actually have such triads. And we have advanced much more here," Putin said in a wide-ranging interview with state media.

The "triad" refers to Russia's three-pronged arsenal of weapons launched from land, sea and air.

"We are ready to use weapons, including any weapons -- including the weapons you mentioned -- if it is a question of the existence of the Russian state or damage to our sovereignty and independence," Putin added in the interview, which aired on Wednesday.

The Russian leader also dismissed comments by French leader Emmanuel Macron, who last month declined to rule out putting boots on the ground in Ukraine, a significant shift in rhetoric as Kyiv struggles on the battlefield.

"The fact is that the militaries of Western countries have been present in Ukraine for a long time," the Russian leader said, referring to what the Kremlin says are mercenaries.

"But if we talk about official military contingents of foreign countries, I am sure it will not change the situation on the battlefield," he added.

While Macron has doubled down on his remarks, several of Ukraine's allies, including Washington, have distanced themselves from the idea, which stunned many in Europe.

The EU on Wednesday nonetheless agreed to up its financial support for Ukraine, after months of wrangling, with a new five billion euro arms package.

Brussels said 28 billion euros have been spent from member states and EU coffers to support Ukraine's military since February 2022.

And a meeting of the so-called Weimar Triangle is planned for Friday as Macron and Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk are set to travel to Germany for talks with Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Berlin and Warsaw said.

 


News Desk


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