Russia has already stationed a primary batch of tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus, Vladimir Putin says.
Russia’s president informed a discussion board they might solely be used if Russia’s territory or state was threatened.
The US authorities says there isn’t a indication the Kremlin plans to make use of nuclear weapons to assault Ukraine.
“We do not see any indications that Russia is getting ready to make use of a nuclear weapon,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated after Mr Putin’s feedback.
Belarus is a key Russian ally and served as a launchpad for Mr Putin’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February final 12 months.
Mr Putin stated transferring the tactical nuclear warheads can be accomplished by the top of the summer season.
Answering questions after a speech on the St Petersburg Worldwide Financial Discussion board, Russia’s president stated the transfer was about “containment” and to remind anybody “considering of inflicting a strategic defeat on us”.
When requested by the discussion board’s moderator about the potential of utilizing these weapons, he replied: “Why ought to we threaten the entire world? I’ve already stated that the usage of excessive measures is feasible in case there’s a hazard to Russian statehood.”
Tactical nuclear weapons are small nuclear warheads and supply programs supposed to be used on the battlefield, or for a restricted strike. They’re designed to destroy enemy targets in a particular space with out inflicting widespread radioactive fallout.
The smallest tactical nuclear weapons might be one kiloton or much less (producing the equal to a thousand tonnes of the explosive TNT). The most important ones might be as massive as 100 kilotons. By comparability, the atomic bomb the US dropped on Hiroshima in 1945 was 15 kilotons.
The Russian chief is assembly African leaders in St Petersburg after they visited Kyiv on Friday as a part of a peace initiative they’re presenting to each nations.
Nevertheless whereas they had been within the metropolis it got here underneath Russian missile assault.
Mr Putin can also be anticipated to carry a separate assembly with the South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa.
In Kyiv, Mr Ramaphosa referred to as for de-escalation on each side and negotiations for peace.
“We got here right here to pay attention and recognise what the individuals of Ukraine have gone via,” he stated.
However Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky stated as a substitute of creating diplomatic overtures to Russia it needs to be frozen out diplomatically to ship a message that the worldwide neighborhood condemned its invasion.
Kyiv wouldn’t enter negotiations with Moscow whereas it nonetheless occupied Ukrainian territory, Mr Zelensky stated.
Mr Putin additionally repeated his declare that Ukraine stood no probability of succeeding in its ongoing counter-offensive.
The Ukrainian navy was additionally working out of its personal navy tools and would quickly solely be utilizing Western-donated tools, he stated.
“You’ll be able to’t battle for lengthy like that,” he stated, warning that any F16 US fighter jets given to Ukraine “will burn, little doubt about it”.
Ukraine has beforehand dismissed comparable remarks, asserting they’re making progress in recapturing territory in each jap and southern Ukraine.
The BBC can’t independently confirm battlefield claims.
The Russian chief additionally addressed financial themes, claiming that Western sanctions on Russia had didn’t isolate it and as a substitute led to an growth in its commerce with “the markets of the longer term”.
He praised new offers with nations in Asia, the Center East and Latin America – calling them “dependable, accountable companions”.