Putin warns of "serious consequences" if Western weapons strike Russia

Moscow, Russia - Russian President Vladimir Putin warned Tuesday of "serious consequences" if Western countries allowed Ukraine to use their weapons to strike Russia.
Russian President Vladimir Putin warned Tuesday of "serious consequences" if Western countries allowed Ukraine to use their weapons to strike Russia.
Russian President Vladimir Putin warned Tuesday of "serious consequences" if Western countries allowed Ukraine to use their weapons to strike Russia.  © Mikhail Metzel / POOL / AFP

Speaking in Uzbekistan, Putin's comments came in response to calls within some NATO member states to allow Ukraine to hit targets inside Russia.

"This constant escalation can lead to serious consequences," Putin said.

"In Europe, especially in small countries, they should be aware of what they are playing with," he added.

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The Russian leader said leaders should bear in mind the "small territory" and "dense population" of many European countries.

"And this factor, which they should keep in mind before they talk about striking deep into Russian territory, is a serious thing."

He said that while Ukraine would carry out the strikes, the responsibility for them would lie with Western suppliers of the weapons.

"They want a global conflict," he added.

Putin also said that while he believed Western military instructors were already in Ukraine operating undercover as mercenaries, countries such as France sending them officially would be another "escalation."

Putin says Ukraine war could escalate into "global conflict"

Officer of the 10th Mountain Assault Brigade and veteran of the Russian-Ukrainian war, Oleg Bozhenk pays his respects at a makeshift memorial for fallen Ukrainian soldiers at Independence Square in Kyiv.
Officer of the 10th Mountain Assault Brigade and veteran of the Russian-Ukrainian war, Oleg Bozhenk pays his respects at a makeshift memorial for fallen Ukrainian soldiers at Independence Square in Kyiv.  © Anatolii STEPANOV / AFP

"It is another step towards a serious conflict in Europe, towards a global conflict," he said.

Ukraine's top commander announced Monday that talks were being held with France on sending military instructors to the country.

"There are specialists there under the guise of mercenaries," Putin said, adding that "this was nothing new."

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He said that they would be "defeated" by the Russian army and that "we will do what we think is necessary regardless of who is on the territory of Ukraine."

"They should be aware of this," Putin said.

Cover photo: Mikhail Metzel / POOL / AFP

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