Russian President, Putin, Announces ‘We Are Ready’ To Confront America Head-On

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Russian President, Putin, Announces ‘We Are Ready’ To Confront America Head-On

In an interview published Wednesday with state media, President Vladimir Putin stated that Moscow is prepared to employ nuclear weapons if the existence of the Russian state is threatened, although he emphasized that such a necessity has not arisen.

The Russian leader made these remarks to Rossiya 1 and RIA Novosti ahead of the presidential elections scheduled for March 15, where he is widely anticipated to secure a fifth term in office. This comes as Russia’s extensive conflict in Ukraine enters its third year.

Putin affirmed that from a military and technological standpoint, Russia is equipped for a nuclear confrontation, although he did not suggest that one is imminent. He cautioned that any deployment of US troops to Ukraine would be perceived by Russia as interventionist.

 “Apart from (US President Joe) Biden, there are enough other experts in the sphere of Russian-American relations and strategic restraint. So I don’t think that everything is going to go head-on here, but we are ready for it,” Putin said.

Putin said the United States is also developing nuclear forces but that doesn’t mean they are ready to “launch a nuclear war tomorrow.”

“They are now setting tasks to increase this modernity, innovation, they have a corresponding plan. We know about it too. They are developing all their components. So are we,” Putin said. “Weapons exist in order to use them. We have our own principles.”

Earlier this month, two senior officials from the US administration informed CNN that in late 2022, the US commenced “thorough preparations” in anticipation of a potential Russian nuclear strike on Ukraine. The Biden administration held particular concern that Russia might employ tactical or battlefield nuclear weapons, according to the officials.

Putin had deployed tactical nuclear weapons to the neighboring ally Belarus last year. Dmitry Medvedev, former Russian President and deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council, suggested that strategic nuclear weapons could be utilized to defend territories assimilated into Russia from Ukraine.

Addressing Russian state media, Putin remarked that Western nations believed they could eliminate Russia at the onset of the Ukraine invasion. Contrary to such expectations, he asserted the stability of Moscow’s financial and economic systems, and emphasized the growing capabilities of its armed forces.

According to NATO intelligence assessments of Russian defense production, Russia is projected to manufacture nearly three times more artillery munitions than the US and Europe, providing a significant advantage in anticipation of another Russian offensive in Ukraine later this year. NATO officials mentioned that artillery factories in Russia are operating “around the clock” on rotating 12-hour shifts.

Nonetheless, despite Russia’s escalation, it still falls short of meeting its requirements, as per US and Western officials. Western intelligence agencies do not foresee significant gains for Russia on the battlefield in the short term.

Meanwhile, Ukraine urgently requires US aid for weaponry and armaments, with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warning of potential casualties numbering in the “millions” without it. The Biden administration announced a new military aid package to Ukraine worth up to $300 million on Tuesday, although Biden emphasized that it was “far from sufficient,” urging Congress to pass additional funding.

In his interview with state media, Putin expressed Russia’s willingness to negotiate on Ukraine, but emphasized the necessity for these discussions to be grounded in reality.

 “Are we ready for negotiations? Yes, we are ready, but only ready for negotiations, not based on some desires after the use of psychotropic drugs, but based on the realities that have developed, as they say in such cases, on the ground,” Putin said.

Asked if there could be a “fair agreement” with the West, he said, “I don’t believe anyone, but we need guarantees.”

Zelensky has previously rejected suggestions it was time to negotiate peace with the Kremlin and has repeatedly said he would not give up Ukrainian territory.

“When you want to have a compromise or a dialogue with somebody, you cannot do it with a liar,” he told CNN in September.

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