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World on the brink as Vladimir Putin 'greenlights attacks on NATO with Russian weapons'

Russian President Vladimir Putin is set to arm NATO’s enemies with long-range missiles, as tensions ramp up over increased Western involvement in the war in Ukraine.

President Putin is furious that several NATO countries, including the US, have given Ukraine the green light to strike targets inside Russia. Earlier this week, US Senator Mike Rounds, a member of the Armed Services Committee, confirmed for the first time that Kyiv has used US-supplied weapons to strike targets in Russia.

This has prompted a tit-for-tat from the Russian leader, who denounced the West’s decisions at a rare press conference with foreign journalists on Wednesday.

He told the reporters: “If someone thinks it is possible to supply such weapons to a war zone to attack our territory and create problems for us, why don’t we have the right to supply weapons of the same class to regions of the world where there will be strikes on sensitive facilities of those countries? That is, the response can be asymmetric. We will think about it.”

According to Dmitry Medvedev, deputy chairman of the Security Council of Russia and a close Putin ally, the US and its allies should “now feel the direct use of Russian weapons by third parties”.

In a lengthy message on Telegram, Mr Medvedev praised President Putin’s decision to allow “for the first time the sending of our weapons to regions that are in conflict with America and NATO countries”.

Mr Medevev slammed “the Yankees and their European slobbering dogs” for pouring weapons into Ukraine and allowing them to hit Russian territory.

He refused to name specific countries that could strike the US and Western countries but added: “Their enemy is the USA, which means they are our friends. We will rejoice at their successful strikes with our weapons against our common enemies!”

Mr Putin’s threats coincided with an announcement that Russia will hold naval exercises in the Caribbean this summer, with port stops in Cuba and Venezuela.

A senior US official said that Russian warships and aircraft are expected to arrive in the region in the coming weeks, ahead of a ‘global’ naval exercise by Vladimir Putin’s forces in the autumn.

On Thursday, the Cuban Ministry of the Revolutionary Armed Forces’ announced that four Russian northern fleet vessels would make an official visit to the port of Havana between 12-17 June.

This will include a nuclear-powered cruise missile submarine, while the ‘Admiral Gorshkov’ frigate will be “carrying Zircon hypersonic missiles, which the Kremlin has touted as capable of carrying a nuclear warhead,” according to the US-based Institute for the Study of War (ISW).

Meanwhile, during his conversation with reporters, President Putin also warned that the West was wrong to dismiss claims that Moscow would never use nuclear weapons in war.

He said: “For some reason, the West believes that Russia will never use it. We have a nuclear doctrine, look what it says.

“If someone’s actions threaten our sovereignty and territorial integrity, we consider it possible for us to use all means at our disposal. This should not be taken lightly, superficially.”


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