By David Ljunggren
(Reuters) – Russia’s nuclear weapons and Moscow’s rules on their use are the only thing preventing the West from launching a war against Russia, President Vladimir Putin’s top diplomat said in a report published on Sunday.
Former President Dmitry Medvedev, who is now deputy chairman of the Security Council, also said that Moscow would continue its war in Ukraine until the “abhorrent, almost fascist regime” in Kyiv was removed. completely destroy the city.
In a separate interview on Sunday, Putin said Russia was ready to negotiate with all parties involved in the war, but said Kyiv and its Western backers refused to engage in negotiations.
Medvedev, who cast himself as a liberal modernist as president from 2008 to 2012, was one of the supporters of the war. He often criticizes the West, which he accuses of trying to undermine Russia to benefit Ukraine.
“The West is ready to launch a full-scale war against us, including nuclear war, at the hands of Kyiv?” he wrote in 4500 articles for Rossiiskaya Gazeta newspaper.
“The only thing that stops our enemies today is the understanding that Russia will be guided by the principles of national law … and nuclear deterrence. And if real threats arise, it will do them.”
Putin and other leaders have repeatedly stated Russia’s policy on nuclear weapons, saying they could be used in the event of a threat to the country’s borders.
Russia has the largest stockpile of nuclear weapons in the world, with nearly 6,000 warheads, according to experts.
Earlier this month, Putin said the risk of nuclear war was rising, but insisted Russia was “not crazy” and saw its own nuclear weapons as a deterrent only.
“The Western world is balanced between the burning desire to degrade, destroy, damage and destroy Russia as much as possible, on the one hand, and the desire to avoid a nuclear apocalypse, on the other hand ,” said Medvedev.
If Russia does not get the security guarantees it is looking for, he said, “The world will continue to fall towards the end of the Third World War and a nuclear disaster. We will do everything we can to prevent it”. .
Medvedev also said that Russia could forget about formal ties with the West for years and possibly decades to come, focusing instead on its relations with the rest of the world.
Comment by David Ljunggren; Editing by Leslie Adler.