Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday said that Moscow has no plans to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine and warned the world is facing the most dangerous decade since World War II.
“We see no need for that,” Putin said of the use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine in a speech at the Valdai Club, a Moscow-based think tank. “There is no point in that, neither political, nor military.”
Putin recently warned that Russia could use all the weapons at its disposal to defend its “territorial integrity,” and other Russian officials made clear that included nuclear weapons and applied to the territories Moscow recently annexed in Ukraine.
But there’s been no sign that Putin has made a decision to use nuclear weapons, and he said Thursday that Russia’s recent talk of nuclear weapons was a reaction to remarks from Western officials.
Discussing current global tensions, Putin said that the world is facing “probably, the most dangerous, unpredictable and at the same time important decade since the end of World War II.”
The Russian leader criticized the US and other Western powers’ for resorting to force to control other nations by using measures such as sanctions, trade wars, and backing coups. One example he used was the US assassination of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, who was killed by a US drone strike in Baghdad in 2020.
“They killed Soleimani, an Iranian general. You can think whatever you want about Soleimani, but he was a foreign state official. They killed him in a third country and assumed responsibility. What is that supposed to mean, for crying out loud?” he said.