Vladimir Putin has slammed the idea that Russia plans to attack NATO as ‘boll**cks’ – at the same time as he threatened to load Western countries’ enemies with missiles to strike them in revenge for their support of Ukraine.

Speaking at a rare press conference with Western news outlets yesterday, the dictator denied having ‘imperial ambitions’ and told journalists ‘they’ve come up with this idea that Russia wants to attack NATO.’

‘Have you lost your mind? Are you as thick as two short planks? Who made this up? It’s nonsense,’ the 71-year-old Kremlin chief ranted.

But at the same meeting, the dictator threatened to supply his advanced weapons to enemies of Britain and other Western countries who are providing long range arms to Kyiv. These Russian weapons could then be used to harm NATO countries.

While many NATO members have provided weapons to Kyiv to support its fight against the Russian invaders, the military alliance’s chief Jens Stoltenberg today emphasised that it has no plans to deploy forces to Ukraine.

Vladimir Putin has slammed the idea that Russia plans to attack NATO as 'boll**cks'

Vladimir Putin has slammed the idea that Russia plans to attack NATO as ‘boll**cks’

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg today emphasised that the military alliance has no plans to deploy forces to Ukraine

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg today emphasised that the military alliance has no plans to deploy forces to Ukraine

Vladimir Putin made threats to supply Britain's enemies with missiles so that they can strike the UK in revenge for supplying Ukraine with long-range Strom Shadow missiles

Vladimir Putin made threats to supply Britain’s enemies with missiles so that they can strike the UK in revenge for supplying Ukraine with long-range Strom Shadow missiles

The Russian President made the chilling comments while speaking to media at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum

The Russian President made the chilling comments while speaking to media at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum 

The Kremlin dictator for the first time threatened to supply his advanced weapons to enemies of Britain and other Western counties who are providing long range arms to Kyiv

The Kremlin dictator for the first time threatened to supply his advanced weapons to enemies of Britain and other Western counties who are providing long range arms to Kyiv

Putin made clear he was also ready to supply weapons in the way NATO countries had, but in his case to enemies of Britain and other Western counties

Putin made clear he was also ready to supply weapons in the way NATO countries had, but in his case to enemies of Britain and other Western counties

Russians examine a downed British Storm Shadow missile (pictured)

Russians examine a downed British Storm Shadow missile (pictured)

Putin made his latest comments at a wide-ranging news conference with foreign journalists in St Petersburg yesterday – a rare occurrence and the first time he has taken questions from Western reporters since the 2022 invasion of Ukraine. 

As several countries including the US have given permission to Ukraine to use their weapons to strike inside Russia, Putin warned that such actions could lead to ‘very serious problems’.

‘If someone thinks it is possible to supply such weapons to a war zone 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 countries?’ he said.

‘That is, the response can be asymmetric. We will think about it.’

In further belligerent comments, the Russian President also accused the UK of direct involvement in the war in Ukraine, alleging British armed forces personnel are targeting missiles hitting Russian targets.

Putin re-issued a threat to use nuclear weapons if Russia’s ‘sovereignty and territorial integrity’ are threatened, warning: ‘This should not be taken lightly, superficially.’

He accused Britain, the US and France of using its armed forces to target Russian positions linked to the Ukraine war.

‘With regard to long-range precision weapons.…such as the British Storm Shadow or the American ATACMS or French missiles,’ he said in an interview with journalists at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum.

‘How is it used?,’ Putin asked. ‘Ukrainian servicemen cannot do everything on their own and strike with this missile.

‘They are simply technologically unable to do it,’ he continued.

‘To do this, you need to have satellite reconnaissance, then, on the basis of this satellite reconnaissance…to form a flight task, and then enter it into the missile system.

‘The serviceman who is next to it, he does it just automatically – he pushes buttons.

‘He may not even know what will happen next.’

Putin made clear he sees this as direct Western involvement in the war.

‘I repeat, the flight task is formed and…entered only by those who supply these weapons,’ he said.

‘If it’s ATACMS, then the Pentagon does it, if it is Storm Shadow, it means that the British are doing it.

‘And in the case of Storm Shadow, it’s even simpler.

‘The simplicity lies in the fact that the flight task is entered automatically, without the involvement of military personnel on the ground, automatically.

‘The British do it, so that’s it…’

Russia last year claimed to have seized an intact British-supplied Storm Shadow missile as a 'war trophy'

Russia last year claimed to have seized an intact British-supplied Storm Shadow missile as a ‘war trophy’

The missile was seen in footage with slight damage after being downed in a cornfield near Berdiansk before being bundled into a Russian vehicle

The missile was seen in footage with slight damage after being downed in a cornfield near Berdiansk before being bundled into a Russian vehicle

The moment of a Storm Shadow missile attack on Chongar Bridge in June last year. Ukraine used the British-supplied missile to destroy the key bridge between Crimea and Russian-held parts of the Kherson region in Ukraine

The moment of a Storm Shadow missile attack on Chongar Bridge in June last year. Ukraine used the British-supplied missile to destroy the key bridge between Crimea and Russian-held parts of the Kherson region in Ukraine

Putin said there could be an ‘asymmetrical response’ for Western long range missiles deployed by Ukraine to hit Russian territory. 

Until now, these weapons have been used only to strike Russian-invaded areas of Ukraine, but Kyiv now has permission for strikes inside Putin’s borders.

Putin made clear he was also ready to supply weapons in the way NATO countries had, but in his case to enemies of Britain and other Western counties.

He asked: ‘What should we do in response?

‘First, we will, of course, improve our air defence systems. We will destroy them.

‘Second – we are thinking that if someone considers it possible to supply such weapons to a war zone to strike at our territory and create problems for us, then why do we not have the right to supply our weapons of the same class to those regions of the world where they will strike at sensitive facilities of those countries that are doing this to Russia?

‘So the response could be asymmetrical. We will think about this.’

Putin did not specify exactly who he had in mind to supply weapons to.

‘If we see that these countries are being drawn into a war against the Russian Federation, then we reserve the right to act in the same way. 

‘In general, this is a path to very serious problems,’ he said.

On nuclear war, he warned the West not to turn a blind eye to the risk.

Russia’s nuclear doctrine allowed the use of tactical – or battlefield – nuclear weapons, he said.

‘For some reason, the West believes that Russia will never use it,’ said the dictator.

‘We have a nuclear doctrine, look what it says.

‘If someone’s actions threaten our sovereignty and territorial integrity, we consider it possible for us to use all means at our disposal.

‘This should not be taken lightly, superficially.’

The doctrine dating from 2020 says Russia could press the button as a response to an attack using nuclear or other weapons of mass destruction, or to the use of conventional weapons against Russia ‘when the very existence of the state is put under threat.’

It comes after Russia last year claimed to have seized an intact British-supplied Storm Shadow missile as a ‘war trophy’.

The missile was seen in footage with slight damage after being downed in a cornfield near Berdiansk before being bundled into a Russian vehicle.

‘The enemy tried to prevent us from capturing such a trophy, and delivering it safely to [Russia] by sending its group of fighters to intercept,’ said the former head of the Russian Space Agency, Dmitry Rogizin.

‘The missile has just been handed over to one of our defence enterprises, whose specialists will decipher the control system algorithms of this dangerous missile weapon, and share them with air defence experts,’ he added.

A month before, in June 2023, Ukraine used a British-supplied Storm Shadow missile to hit a key bridge between Crimea and Russian-held parts of the Kherson region in Ukraine, pro-Moscow sources claimed at the time.

Vladimir Saldo, the Russia-appointed Kherson governor, said the Storm Shadow long-range cruise missiles were likely to have been used for the attack, which damaged the road on the Chongar bridge.

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