Putin issues new nuclear warnings to West over Ukraine

TEHRAN, Feb. 22 (MNA) – Russian President delivered a warning to the West over Ukraine by suspending a landmark nuclear arms control treaty, announcing that new strategic systems had been put on combat duty, and threatening to resume nuclear tests.

Nearly a year after ordering an operation in Ukraine, Putin said Russia would achieve its aims and accused the West of trying to destroy it, Reuters reported.

"The elites of the West do not hide their purpose. But they also cannot fail to realize that it is impossible to defeat Russia on the battlefield," he told his country's political and military elite.

Saying that the United States was turning the war into a global conflict, Putin said Russia was suspending participation in the New START treaty, its last major arms control treaty with Washington.

The Russian leader said that some in Washington were considering breaking a moratorium on nuclear testing.

"... if the United States conducts tests, then we will. No one should have dangerous illusions that global strategic parity can be destroyed," Putin said.

"A week ago, I signed a decree on putting new ground-based strategic systems on combat duty."

Putin said Ukraine had sought to strike a facility deep inside Russia where it keeps nuclear bombers, a reference to the Engels air base.

MNA/PR

News Code 197695

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