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Putin warns of providing weapons to Western foes with range to target cities

RUSSIAN President Vladimir Putin warned today that Moscow could provide long-range weapons to other nations to strike Western targets in response to Nato allies providing Ukraine with weapons.

Mr Putin reaffirmed Russia’s readiness to use nuclear weapons if it sees a threat to its sovereignty.

The recent actions by the West will further undermine international security and could lead to “very serious problems,” he told reporters.

“That would mark their direct involvement in the war against the Russian Federation, and we reserve the right to act the same way,” Mr Putin added.

The United States and Germany recently authorised Ukraine to hit some targets on Russian soil with the long-range weapons they are supplying to Kiev.

On Wednesday, a US senator said Ukraine has used US weapons to strike inside Russia under newly approved guidance from President Joe Biden that allows arms to be used for the limited purpose of defending Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city.

British Foreign Secretary David Cameron said earlier this week that Ukraine had a right to use the weapons provided by Britain to strike targets inside Russia and that it was up to Ukraine whether to do so.

Mr Putin claimed that using some Western-supplied weapons involves military personnel of those countries controlling the missiles and selecting targets, and therefore he said Moscow could take “asymmetrical” steps elsewhere in the world.

“If they consider it possible to deliver such weapons to the combat zone to launch strikes on our territory and create problems for us, why don’t we have the right to supply weapons of the same type to some regions of the world where they can be used to launch strikes on sensitive facilities of the countries that do it to Russia?” he said.

“We will think about it.”

He did not specify where he was considering delivering such missiles.

Asked whether Russia could resort to using nuclear arms, Mr Putin said the conditions for utilising that arsenal are spelt out in Moscow’s security doctrine.

“For some reason, they believe in the West that Russia will never use it,” he said.

“If somebody’s actions threaten our sovereignty and territorial integrity, we consider it possible to use all means at our disposal.”

Fighting continues to rage within the Kharkiv region, near Ukraine’s northern border with Russia.

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