Russian President Vladimir Putin has said he won't use nuclear weapons in Ukraine.
On Thursday, he denied having any intentions of nuclear warfare - but described the conflict there as part of alleged efforts by the West to secure its global domination, which he insisted is doomed to fail.
Speaking at a conference of international foreign policy experts, Putin said it is pointless for Russia to strike Ukraine with nuclear weapons.
“We see no need for that,” Putin said. “There is no point in that, neither political, nor military.”
Putin said an earlier warning of his readiness to use “all means available to protect Russia” didn’t amount to nuclear sabre-rattling but was merely a response to Western statements about their possible use of nuclear weapons.
He also singled out now-ousted Prime Minister Liz Truss' statement in August that she would be ready to use nuclear weapons if she became leader, a remark which Putin said worried the Kremlin.
Europe Editor James Mates reports on damage to Ukraine's energy infrastructure
“What were we supposed to think?” Putin said. “We saw that as a coordinated position, an attempt to blackmail us.”
In a long speech laden with diatribes against the United States and its allies, Putin accused them of trying to dictate their terms to other nations in a “dangerous, bloody and dirty” domination game.
Putin, who sent his troops into Ukraine on February 24, has cast Western support for Ukraine as part of broad efforts by Washington and its allies to enforce its will upon others through a rules-based world order.
He argued that the world has reached a turning point, when “the West is no longer able to dictate its will to humankind but still tries to do it, and the majority of nations no longer want to tolerate it.”
The Russian leader claimed that the Western policies will foment more chaos, adding that “he who sows the wind will reap the whirlwind.”
Putin claimed that “humankind now faces a choice: accumulate a load of problems that will inevitably crush us all or try to find solutions that may not be ideal but could work and could make the world more stable and secure.”
Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know