Putin issues stark warning: Russia prepared for nuclear conflict

President Vladimir Putin issued a stern warning to Western nations on Wednesday, declaring Russia's readiness for nuclear conflict. He emphasized that deploying U.S. troops to Ukraine would significantly escalate tensions.

Publication: 13.03.2024 - 12:05
Putin issues stark warning: Russia prepared for nuclear conflict
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Speaking ahead of the March 15-17 election, which is expected to extend his leadership by another six years, Putin clarified that Russia sees no immediate need for nuclear weapons in Ukraine but stands technically prepared. "From a military-technical standpoint, we are ready," Putin affirmed during interviews with Rossiya-1 television and the RIA news agency, responding to inquiries about Russia's readiness for nuclear warfare.

Putin stressed that any U.S. troop deployment in Russia or Ukraine would be perceived as an act of intervention, a stance understood by U.S. experts in Russian-American relations and strategic restraint. "I don't believe we are rushing toward nuclear confrontation, but we are prepared for it," he added.

This nuclear posture is part of Putin's broader strategy, which includes an offer for negotiations on Ukraine amidst a new demarcation of European security post-Cold War. However, the U.S. contends Putin is not genuinely open to meaningful discussions on Ukraine.

The ongoing conflict in Ukraine marks a severe downturn in Russia-West relations, the worst since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. Putin has repeatedly cautioned that Western intervention in Ukraine could edge the world closer to nuclear conflict.

Since February 2022, Russia's military involvement in Ukraine has escalated the long-standing conflict in Eastern Ukraine, with Russia now controlling a significant portion of Ukrainian territory. This has raised international concerns over the potential for broader conflict, particularly in light of Putin's nuclear threats aimed at deterring further U.S. support for Kyiv.

Despite these tensions, Putin reiterated Russia's openness to serious negotiations on Ukraine, insisting on discussions grounded in reality. The U.S. previously rejected Putin's ceasefire proposal, signaling a challenging path to peace.

CIA Director William Burns warned that insufficient support for Ukraine could result in further territorial losses to Russia, potentially emboldening China. Burns advocated for continued U.S. support to strengthen Ukraine's position ahead of potential negotiations.

Putin, emphasizing the necessity of written security guarantees for any settlement, stated, "I don't trust anyone, but we need guarantees that satisfy us." This stance underscores the complexities of diplomatic efforts to resolve the Ukraine crisis amid escalating threats of nuclear engagement.

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