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Putin threatens to supply weapons to third countries to hit Western interests

Vladimir Putin threatened Wednesday to deliver weapons to third countries that could harm Western interests if the West allows Ukraine to strike Russia with its long-range missiles.

The Russian president made the threat as Western countries have become increasingly willing, under certain conditions, to allow Kiev to use their weapons to strike Russian territory. Ukraine has been demanding this right for months.

Putin said that if long-range missiles requiring Western military assistance were fired against targets in Russia in the future, Moscow would retaliate.

“If someone considers it possible to supply such weapons in the combat zone to strike our territory (…), why should we not have the right to supply our weapons of the same type to regions of the world where there will be hit the sensitive installations of the countries which act in this way against Russia?”, launched Mr. Putin, during an interview with around fifteen press agencies, including AFP, on the sidelines of the Saint-Germain Economic Forum. Petersburg.

Certain NATO countries, such as Italy, however, remain opposed to the use of their weapons on Russian territory, in particular high-precision long-range missiles, fearing an escalation of the conflict.

– “Very dangerous measure” –

The Russian president also reaffirmed that Western military instructors “are already in Ukraine, and are suffering losses there.” Losses on which “the United States and European States prefer to remain silent”, according to him.

Putin threatens to supply weapons to third countries to hit Western interests

Russian President Vladimir Putin during an interview with international news agencies in St. Petersburg, June 5, 2024 © POOL – Valentina PEVTCOVA

France recently announced that it was considering sending military instructors to Ukraine to accelerate the training of Ukrainian soldiers and the formation of a European coalition for this purpose.

Last week, the Russian president affirmed that Western instructors were in Ukraine, “under the guise of mercenaries”.

Other countries including the States -United States have ruled out sending instructors. No state has reported the presence of its military in Ukraine.

During this discussion of approximately three hours, for which he arrived several hours late than the announced time, Mr. Putin reiterated his arguments according to that Russia was willing to sit at the negotiating table, and that the best way to stop the war was for the West to “stop supplying weapons” to Ukraine.

“Providing weapons to a conflict zone is always a bad thing. Especially when the suppliers not only supply weapons, but control them. This is a very serious and very dangerous measure,” he said. -he declared again, refusing to see his February 2022 offensive as the central factor in the conflict.

– “No imperial ambitions”

The Russian president also refused to quantify the losses suffered by the Russian army after two and a half years of conflict, assuring that they were “much lower” than the Ukrainian losses.< /p>

“If we talk about irreparable losses (deaths, editor's note), then the ratio is one to five” with the losses suffered on the Ukrainian side, he said .

Putin threatens to supply weapons to third countries to hit Western interests

Ukraine: positions of military forces © AFP – Valentin RAKOVSKY, Sophie RAMIS, Cléa PECULIER

He assured that this ratio was similar to the difference between the number of prisoners from each camp. According to him, Russia currently holds 6,465 Ukrainian soldiers, compared to 1,348 Russian soldiers imprisoned in Ukraine.

Since the start of the assault on Ukraine in February 2022, many Western experts have spoken of tens of thousands of Russian soldiers killed. The BBC and independent Russian media outlet Mediazona claim to have verified the deaths of at least 50,000 Russian servicemen.

Often appearing smiling for this interview, organized on the eve of the festivities marking the 80th anniversary of the Allied landings in Normandy, to which Russia was not invited, he also sometimes appeared annoyed, as when he hammered home that Russia had “no imperial ambitions” and was not planning to attack NATO.

“Don't look for what doesn't exist (…) don't look for our imperial ambitions. They don't exist,” he declared, in response to a question from AFP on the presence of the flags of contemporary Russia, imperial Russia and the USSR in front of the Gazprom headquarters where the meeting with journalists had taken place place.

“We're making up stories about Russia wanting to attack NATO (…) Who made up this nonsense ? Bullshit,” he fumed.

Russia denied for months that it was preparing a military offensive against Ukraine, before launching its assault on February 24, 2022, accusing the West of wanting to use its Ukrainian ally to weaken or even destroy Russia.

And while the Kremlin denies wanting to recreate its lost empire, Moscow has annexed five Ukrainian regions and many Russian officials, including Mr. Putin, point out that these belonged to the Russian and Soviet empires.


All reproduction and representation rights reserved. © (2024) Agence France-Presse

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116