Putin threatens to station missiles close to the U.K. after it supplied Ukraine with long-range missiles

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Putin threatens to station missiles close to the U.K. after it supplied Ukraine with long-range missiles

Russian President Vladimir Putin has threatened to deploy long-range nuclear missiles within striking distance of the United Kingdom in retaliation for the British government supplying Ukraine with long-range Storm Shadow cruise missiles.

Putin has warned that the U.K.’s decision to arm Ukraine with long-range cruise missiles that can strike at targets within internationally recognized Russian territory amounts to direct involvement in the Russian special military operation in Ukraine. (Related: Russia threatens retaliation against British targets if Kyiv uses U.K.-provided missiles to strike Russian territory.)

Putin gave this declaration during his first face-to-face meeting with senior editors of international news agencies since the beginning of the conflict with Ukraine. During this press conference, Putin said it was wrong for the West to assume that Russia would never resort to using nuclear weapons, and warned that the Kremlin’s nuclear doctrine should be taken seriously.

“If someone’s actions threaten our sovereignty and territorial integrity, we consider it possible to use all means at our disposal,” warned Putin.

Putin threatens to arm enemies of the West with long-range missiles

Putin has also threatened to deploy Russian long-range missiles in the territories of its allies around the world, specifically Germany, France and the United States, all of whom have been providing Ukraine with long-range weapons and have recently changed their rules to allow their weapons to be used by Ukraine to strike targets inside Russia.

Putin warned that this constituted a serious escalation that was drawing the West toward a direct conflict with Russia, and Moscow would respond by shooting down these Western missiles as they entered Russian territory.

Furthermore, Putin warned that his government was considering deploying similar high-technology, long-range missiles close enough to strike the states that allowed Ukraine to strike at internationally recognized Russian territory.

“If someone considers 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,” said Putin. “That is, the response can be asymmetric. We will think about it.”

“Delivering arms to a warzone is always bad. Even more so if those who are delivering are not just delivering weapons but also controlling them,” Putin added, alluding to repeated accusations that Western military advisers and trainers in Ukraine are helping to program Western-supplied long-range missiles like the Storm Shadow for attacks against Russian targets.

It is also not clear which regions of the world or allies Putin was referring to but it should be noted that Russia has close ties to the governments of Iran, Syria and North Korea and has been developing closer relations with several nations in West Africa.

Watch this video of an interview with international relations and Russian affairs expert Gilbert Doctorow explaining how the Kremlin will respond to any direct attack by the West.