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Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs the supervisory board meeting of the presidential forum "Russia - Land of Opportunity" at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia April 20, 2022. Sputnik/Mikhail Klimentyev/Kremlin via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.

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Russian President Putin threatens to deploy missiles to hit the Western countries supporting Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin has criticized the West’s delivery of long-range weapons to Ukraine, suggesting that Moscow could similarly arm other countries to target Western interests.

Speaking at a rare press conference with foreign media, including Anadolu Agency, Putin responded to several Western countries, including the United States, permitting Ukraine to strike targets inside Russia. Moscow has labeled this a significant miscalculation.

“If someone thinks it is possible to supply such weapons to a warzone 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 (Western) countries,” Putin stated.

“The response can be asymmetric. We will think about it,” he added.

Putin dismissed as “bollocks” the notion that Russia plans to attack NATO members, asserting, “There is no need to look for some imperial ambitions of ours. There are none.”

He warned that Western arms deliveries to Ukraine were “a very negative step,” accusing donors of “controlling” the weapons.

Putin singled out Germany for criticism, noting that the appearance of German-supplied tanks on Ukrainian soil caused a “moral and ethical shock in Russia” due to World War II’s legacy.

He added, “When they say that there will be more missiles which will hit targets on Russian territory, this definitively destroys Russian-German relations.”

‘Irrecoverable losses’

Addressing representatives from various news outlets, Putin reiterated that Russia “did not start the war against Ukraine,” instead blaming a pro-Western revolution in 2014. “Everyone thinks that Russia started the war in Ukraine. I would like to emphasize that nobody in the West, in Europe, wants to remember how this tragedy started,” he said.

Putin declined to disclose Russia’s battlefield losses in the conflict, now exceeding two years. “As a rule, no one talks about it,” he said, adding, “If we talk about irrecoverable losses, the ratio is one to five.”

Putin was also asked about the implications of a victory by former US President Donald Trump or incumbent Joe Biden for US-Russia relations. He downplayed the significance, saying, “By and large there’s no difference.”

However, he criticized Trump’s recent criminal charges for business fraud as politically motivated, arguing that they “burned” the idea of Washington as a leading democracy. “It is obvious all over the world that the prosecution of Trump… is simply the utilization of the judicial system during an internal political struggle,” Putin said. “Their supposed leadership in the sphere of democracy is being burned to the ground.”

Trump, who is running in the upcoming election and could return to the White House, has previously praised Putin as a “smart guy.”

Putin also mentioned that Russia and the United States are in “constant contact” regarding a possible prisoner exchange to free jailed US journalist Evan Gershkovich, who was arrested on espionage charges last year.

“The relevant services in the US and Russia are in constant contact with one another and of course they will decide only on the basis of reciprocity,” he noted.

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I am an experienced writer, analyst, and author. My exposure in English journalism spans more than 28 years. In the past, I have been working with daily The Muslim (Lahore Bureau), daily Business Recorder (Lahore/Islamabad Bureaus), Daily Times, Islamabad, daily The Nation (Lahore and Karachi). With daily The Nation, I have served as Resident Editor, Karachi. Since 2009, I have been working as a Freelance Writer/Editor for American organizations.

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