Putin warns Russia could provide weapons to others to attack West

Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned that Moscow could arm countries aimed at attacking Western targets.

Mr Putin made this statement while criticising the supply of long-range weapons to Ukraine by Western countries.

Several countries, including the United States, have given Ukraine the green light to attack targets inside Russia.

Mr Putin told foreign journalists that such action could cause “very serious problems”.

“If someone thinks it is possible to supply such weapons to a war zone in order to attack our territory and create problems for us, why don’t we have the right to supply the same class of weapons to those regions of the world where there will be attacks on sensitive facilities of those countries?” the Russian president said.

“That is, the response could be asymmetric. We will think about that.”

He did not clarify which countries Moscow could supply weapons to.

Mr Putin made a special mention of Germany, who recently told Ukraine it was free to attack targets inside Russia Equipped with long-range German-made weapons.

“When they say there will be more missiles that will hit Russian territory, this will definitely destroy Russian-German relations,” Mr Putin said.

US President Joe Biden Ukraine has been given permission to use American weapons to strike targets in Russia, but only near the Kharkiv region. The White House has said Ukraine cannot use long-range ATACMS missiles on Russian soil.

Ukraine has used American weapons to launch attacks inside Russia in recent days, a U.S. senator and a Western official told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

Heavy fighting has been raging northeast of Kharkiv following a new Russian offensive along Ukraine’s northern border. Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, is just 30 kilometers (18 miles) from the border.

Britain’s Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron has said… He said it was up to Ukraine to decide how to use the British weapons. and stressed that it has the right to attack targets on Russian territory.

Ukraine says North Korean missiles are being used inside Ukrainian territory, and Western intelligence agencies say Russia is using Iranian-made drones in the conflict.

Russia launches a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

Mr Putin was speaking to foreign journalists at the annual St Petersburg International Economic Forum.

He also warned that the West was wrong to believe Moscow would never use nuclear weapons.

Asked by Reuters about the threat of a nuclear strike on Ukraine, Mr Putin said: “For some reason, the West believes Russia will never use it.”

“We have a nuclear doctrine, look what it says. If someone’s actions threaten our sovereignty and territorial integrity, we consider it possible to use all means available to us.

“This should not be taken lightly or superficially.”

Mr Putin also rejected the idea that Russia plans to attack NATO territory.

“You shouldn’t make Russia an enemy,” Mr Putin said. “You’re only hurting yourself by doing that, you know?”

“They thought Russia wanted to attack NATO. Are you completely crazy? This thing is as thick as this table.”

Who thought of that? It’s absolute nonsense, you know? Absolute nonsense.”

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