Vladimir Putin tells West to ‘go to hell’ as despot confirms that nuclear weapons have been moved to Belarus as a precaution for ‘anyone thinking of inflicting a strategic defeat’ on Russia
President Putin told the West to ‘go to hell’ on nuclear arms reduction as he confirmed he has moved nuclear weapons into Belarus, claiming it is a precautionary measure for ‘anyone thinking of inflicting a strategic defeat’ on Russia.
Speaking at Russia’s flagship economic forum in St Petersburg, Putin told those gathered that the first warheads had arrived in the country, but that this was only ‘the first part’ of the planned delivery.
warheads would be complete by the end of the year – but added he saw no reason to deploy nuclear weapons imminently.
The deployment of tactical nuclear weapons is Moscow’s first move of such bombs – which could potentially be used on the battlefield – outside Russian borders since the fall of the Soviet Union.
Putin claimed on Friday the move was intended as a warning to the West about arming and supporting Ukraine.
‘It is precisely as an element of deterrence so that all those who are thinking about inflicting a strategic defeat on us are not oblivious to this circumstance,’ said Putin, using a diplomatic term for a defeat so severe that Russian power would be diminished on the world stage for decades.
But Russia had no need to resort to nuclear weapons for now, said Putin, signalling no change in Moscow’s nuclear posture which only envisages such a move if the existence of the Russian state is threatened.
‘Nuclear weapons have been made to ensure our security in the broadest sense of the word and the existence of the Russian state, but we…have no such need (to use them),’ Putin said.
But he said talks with the West to reduce Russia’s vast nuclear arsenal, the world’s largest, were a non-starter.
Earlier Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko, a staunch ally of Putin, boasted some of the weapons are three times more powerful than the atomic bombs the US dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.
‘We have missiles and bombs that we have received from Russia,’ Lukashenko said in an interview with the Rossiya-1 Russian state TV channel which was posted on the Belarusian Belta state news agency’s Telegram channel.
‘The bombs are three times more powerful than those (dropped on) Hiroshima and Nagasaki,’ he said, speaking on a road in a forest clearing with military vehicles parked nearby and some kind of military storage facility visible in the background.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday that Russia, which will retain control of the tactical nuclear weapons, would start deploying them in Belarus after special storage facilities to house them were made ready.
The despot yesterday threatened that the war in Ukraine could turn nuclear and warned ‘there will be no winners, including America’ in a Third World War.