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Putin says Russia does not need to use nuclear weapons to defeat Ukraine

President Vladimir Putin said on Friday (7) that Russia did not need to use nuclear weapons to guarantee victory in Ukraine. This statement is the Kremlin’s strongest signal yet that Europe’s deadliest conflict since World War II will not escalate into a nuclear war.

Since Putin ordered the entry of troops into Ukraine in February 2022, the Russian leader has said on several occasions that the country would use nuclear weapons, if necessary, to defend itself.

Asked at the plenary session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum whether Russia should aim a “nuclear pistol” at the West through Ukraine, Putin said he did not see the conditions for using such weapons.

“Use is possible in an exceptional case – in the event of a threat to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country. I don’t believe that will happen. There is no need,” Putin said.

Moscow considers Crimea – which it seized from Ukraine in 2014 – and four other Ukrainian regions now to be integral parts of its own territory, raising the possibility of a nuclear attack.

Ukraine has stepped up drone and missile attacks on Russian targets, including in Crimea, and has vowed to expel all Russian forces from its territory.

Putin said he did not rule out changes to Russia’s nuclear doctrine, which sets out the conditions under which such weapons could be used.

He also said that if necessary, Russia could test a nuclear weapon, although he saw no need at the moment.

The public debate over nuclear attacks on the stage of Russia’s main economic forum appeared to be an attempt by the Kremlin to reduce nuclear fears. This is a time when the war in Ukraine is moving into what Russian and American diplomats say is its most dangerous phase yet.

Russia and the United States hold almost 90% of the world’s nuclear weapons.

Source: CNN Brasil

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