Putin Warns West of ‘Major Consequences’ If Ukraine Strikes Russian Territory With NATO Missiles

There are growing calls within the US and NATO to allow Ukraine to use long-range Western weapons on Russian territory

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday warned Western countries against allowing Ukraine to use long-range NATO missiles in strikes on Russian territory.

Putin pointed to comments from NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, who recently suggested NATO members should lift restrictions on Ukraine’s use of their weapons.

“This constant escalation can lead to serious consequences. If these serious consequences occur in Europe, how will the US behave, bearing in mind our parity in the field of strategic weapons? Hard to say. Do they want global conflict?” Putin said during a visit to Uzbekistan, according to RT.

The Russian leader said that long-range strikes would require NATO support and that it would take “highly qualified specialists” from the West to do the targeting. A recent German military leak revealed that British soldiers are “on the ground” in Ukraine helping fire Storm Shadow missiles, which have a range of about 155 miles.

“So, these representatives of NATO countries, especially in Europe, especially in small countries, must be aware of what they are playing with,” Putin said.

This week, Sweden said Ukraine could use Swedish weapons to hit Russian territory, although Stockholm has not provided long-range missiles like the US and the UK have.

London had previously given Ukraine the green light to use British weapons on Russian territory, which prompted a strong warning from Moscow. Russia said it would hit UK military sites in Ukraine and “beyond” if British weapons hit its territory, and there have been no reports of British missiles targeting the Russian mainland. Both US and British-provided weapons have been used in attacks on Crimea over the past year.

The calls to allow Ukraine to strike Russian territory with NATO weapons have increased since Russia launched its offensive in Kharkiv, which Putin said was a response to Ukrainian attacks on Russia’s Belgorod Oblast. He warned of another escalation if long-range NATO weapons hit Russia.

“What caused this? They did, with their own hands,” Putin said, referring to the Kharkiv offensive. “Well, then, they will reap what they have sown. The same thing can happen if long-range precision weapons are used.”

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of Antiwar.com, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.