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28 May, 2024 16:16

Putin warns West about consequences of long-range strikes on Russia

Ukraine won’t be able to make such attacks without direct external assistance, the president has warned
Putin warns West about consequences of long-range strikes on Russia

Kiev’s Western backers need to understand that long-range strikes on Russian territory using weaponry they have supplied would represent a conflict escalation and lead to “serious consequences,” Russian President Vladimir Putin outlined on Tuesday.

Speaking to reporters at the end of a two-day visit to Uzbekistan, Putin addressed recent Ukrainian demands for NATO to permit the use of its weapons to attack deep inside Russia as well as comments by the US-led bloc’s head, Jens Stoltenberg, appearing to endorse the tactic.

“To be honest, I don’t know what the NATO secretary-general is saying,” Putin told reporters, adding that Stoltenberg “did not suffer from any dementia” when he worked constructively with Russia as the prime minister of Norway (2005-2013).

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 explained that long-range precision strikes require space reconnaissance assets – which Kiev does not have, but the US does – and that this targeting is already done by “highly qualified specialists” from the West, without Ukrainian participation. 

“So, these representatives of NATO countries, especially in Europe, especially in small countries, must be aware of what they are playing with,” the Russian president said, noting that a lot of these countries have “a small territory and a very dense population.”

Putin told reporters that their colleagues in the West are ignoring Ukrainian attacks on Belgorod and other Russian regions along the border, and only focusing on the Russian advance on Kharkov.

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

Asked if Russia was refusing to negotiate with Ukraine, Putin told reporters that such claims by the West were baffling.

“We don’t refuse!” he said. “I’ve said it a thousand times, it’s like they don’t have ears!” 

The Ukrainian side initialed an agreement with Russia in March 2022, then publicly reneged and refused to negotiate any further, Putin explained. He described Kiev’s current “peace conference” effort in Switzerland as an attempt to get some kind of international buy-in for its entirely unrealistic “peace platform,” which isn’t working out.