Putin Outlines Conditions For Dropping Nuclear Bombs On Europe Over Ukraine Dispute

Putin Outlines Conditions For Dropping Nuclear Bombs On Europe Over Ukraine Dispute


Photo: In this image from video released by the Russian Defense Ministry Press Service on Jan. 26, 2022, the Russian navy's frigate Admiral Essen prepares to sail off for an exercise in the Black Sea. (Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP, File)

Russian President Vladimir Putin outlined conditions for dropping nuclear bombs on Eastern Europe if Ukraine joins NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and seeks to regain control of Crimea — land Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014.

Putin demanded that NATO retreat from Eastern Europe and ban Ukraine from ever entering the alliance while he continues to deny any plans to launch an invasion, pointing a finger instead at NATO for its expansion further east through Europe.

The Russian president claimed his talks with French President Emmanuel Macron were constructive, through a joint press conference, but he warned of a nuclear conflict if Ukraine joins NATO and then tries to regain Crimea.

“I want to stress it one more time. I’ve been saying it, but I’d very much want you to finally hear me, and to deliver it to your audience in print, TV and online. Do you understand it or not? That if Ukraine joins NATO and attempts to bring Crimea back by military means, the European countries will be automatically pulled into a war conflict with Russia,” Putin said.

“Russia is a military superpower and a nuclear superpower,” Putin warned. “There will be no winners and you will be drawn into this conflict against your own will.”

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Russia has tried to persuade the West against an eastward NATO move for 30 years, according to Putin. He claimed there was just a complete disregard for his concerns, demands and proposals.

Russia’s demands distill years of Putin’s grievances about what he sees as Western overreach in Eastern Europe, a region that Moscow considers part of its rightful sphere of influence.

He also argues that a greater Western military presence in Eastern Europe represents an existential threat to Russia.

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“I felt like Macron was ‘tormenting’ me by talking too much in his bid to find settlement during the meeting,” Putin said.

“We are two great European countries…members of the Security Council of the United Nations. For me it is obvious, Russia is European. If one believes in Europe, he must be able to work with Russia and find ways and means to build the future in Europe and with Europeans,” Putin said.

Russian soldiers and armored vehicles have been seen moving to Crimea as tensions mount and the U.K. and U.S. threaten more sanctions.

As more than 100,000 troops gather near the Ukrainian border, Europe is nervously trying to prevent an invasion.