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Putin Responds to Questions on Nuclear Weapons at SPIEF Plenary

June 16, 2023, 2022 (EIRNS)—During the discussion period of the plenary session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, Russian President Vladimir Putin (in Russian) was asked how he views the use of nuclear weapons. “No,” he answered unequivocally. “This use of nuclear weapons is certainly theoretically possible. For Russia, this is possible if a threat is created to our territorial integrity, independence and sovereignty, the existence of the Russian state. Nuclear weapons are created in order to ensure our security in the broadest sense of the word and the existence of the Russian state.

“But we, firstly, do not have such a need, and secondly, the very factor of reasoning on this topic already lowers the possibility of lowering the threshold for the use of weapons. This is the first part.

“The second is that we have more such weapons than the NATO countries. They know about it and all the time they persuade us to start talks on reductions. Fuck them, you know? As our people say. (Laughter) Because, in the clumsy terms of economics, this is our competitive advantage.”

To the previous, related question, he replied:

“Look, everything you said is an attempt to provoke us into retaliatory, already serious, powerful actions. But this attempt to damage the Kremlin, the residence of the President of the Russian Federation, the attacks on the Belgorod Region and neighboring regions of Russia, are all attempts to provoke us into retaliatory actions. But listen, if we destroyed five Patriot complexes near Kiev, then why should we destroy any building and structure in the center of Kiev?”

Putin asked rhetorically.

“But there is such an opportunity, everyone understands this, everyone is just waiting for us to start pressing buttons. There is no such need, this is the first consideration. There is no such need. Because the enemy on the front line is not successful, that’s the whole point....” Putin said.

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