The Deputy Secretary of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s Security Council warned on Thursday that Ukrainian calls for the international community to take “preventative” strikes or actions against Russia are a call for World War III and a nuclear conflict that “would be catastrophic for all mankind.”
In an interview with the Russian state-run TASS news agency, Kremlin Security Council Deputy Secretary Alexander Venediktov warned if western nations supporting Ukraine decided to use weapons of mass destruction on Russia, it would all but guarantee World War III.
Venediktov’s comments come days after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called for the West to carry out “preventative strikes” against Russia before it uses its nuclear weapons and “to eliminate the possibility that Russia will use nuclear strikes.”
Russia’s government has taken Zelenskyy’s words as a call for the West to preemptively use nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction against Russia. Zelenskyy’s spokesman Sergii Nykyforov later claimed Zelenskyy’s comment was misinterpreted and he meant to say “preventative measures” instead of “preventative strikes” and said Zelenskyy was only calling for sanctions in his request to “eliminate the possibility” of a Russian nuclear attack.
Russian officials are still treating Zelenskyy’s comments as a call for potentially nuclear strikes, despite of Zelenskyy’s amended call for action.
“Russian officials have never voiced a threat to use any weapons of mass destruction. Meanwhile in Europe, some politicians openly call for such actions,” Venediktov told TASS. “Even a number of politicians in the EU do not conceal and do not rule out the possibility of using weapons of mass destruction against Russia.”
Venediktov said Zelenskyy’s words are “not just some kind of remark, but an open call for the Third World War in which there can be no winners.”
The Kremlin official went on to say that “in the West, fewer and fewer people remember what war is, so they lose touch with reality and do not understand how dangerous such appeals are and what the consequences may be.”
“For some reason, many believe that a nuclear war can be waged locally,” he added. “We must remember: a nuclear conflict will affect absolutely the whole world – and not only Russia and the collective West, but in general any country on this planet. Its consequences will be catastrophic for all mankind.”
In another segment of his TASS interview, Venediktov also warned against Ukraine joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), saying it would mean “a guaranteed escalation” to the same catastrophic outcome as a preemptive strike on Russia — World War III.
“Ukraine’s accession to NATO or some other alliances formed under the auspices of the United States is unacceptable for us,” Venediktov said.
Venediktov’s comments are the latest in a series of Russian warnings about nuclear war.
Last month, Putin said western nations “have even resorted to the nuclear blackmail.”
“I would like to remind those who make such statements regarding Russia that our country has different types of weapons as well, and some of them are more modern than the weapons NATO countries have.” Putin added at the time. “In the event of a threat to the territorial integrity of our country and to defend Russia and our people, we will certainly make use of all weapon systems available to us. This is not a bluff.”