Putin’s spokesman dismisses nuclear threat and swats away Biden’s speech as ‘insult’

Joe Biden clashes with reporter over ‘outrageous’ Putin

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Russia would only use nuclear weapons if there is a threat to the country’s existence, a Moscow official has confirmed. There has been much speculation about whether Vladimir Putin would use nuclear weapons.

Donald Trump’s British-born ex-National Security advisor Fiona Hill even warned “nuclear is on the table”.

However, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told PBS Newshour on Monday: “Any outcome of the operation (in Ukraine), of course, is not a reason for usage of a nuclear weapon.

“We have a security concept that very clearly states that only when there is a threat for existence of the state, in our country, we can use and we will actually use nuclear weapons to eliminate the threat for the existence of our country.”

Peskov was also asked about comments made by US President Joe Biden in Warsaw.

The 46th President described Vladimir Putin as a “butcher” and declared the Russian leader should no longer remain in power.

He said: “Brutality will never grind down the will to be free.

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“Ukraine will never be a victory for Russia.”

Biden added: “For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power.”

Peskov said Mr Biden’s remarks were not only “quite alarming” but also a “personal insult”.

He added: “Of course, it is completely unacceptable.

“It is not for the United States’ President to decide who is going to be and who is the President of the Russian Federation.”

Mr Biden’s comments also faced criticism from Western allies.

French President Emmanuel Macron, who has been seen as a key ally to Washington despite Paris’ frustration with the AUKUS submarine agreement, responded by saying: “I think we must do everything to avoid the situation getting out of hand.

“I wouldn’t use these kinds of words because I’m still in talks with President Putin.”

A Downing Street spokesperson claimed Boris Johnson is not pursuing regime change in Moscow and claimed it is up to the Russian people how they are governed.

Defence Select Committee chair and ex-Defence Minister Tobias Ellwood called Mr Biden’s remarks “unwise”.

The Bournemouth East MP added: “It’s for the Russian people to draw this (obvious) conclusion.

“Putin/Xi (& many Russians) will now read ‘regime change’ as POTUS’ wider objective – beyond supporting Ukraine.

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“Putin will spin this, dig in and fight harder.”

However, Peskov also used his PBS interview to deny claims Russia had deliberately targeted civilians in Ukraine.

He said: “They are not shelling houses. They are not shelling apartments.

“They are not shelling civil objects. They are only shelling and they’re aiming for military infrastructure.”

America declared last week Russian forces had committed war crimes during their onslaught against Ukraine.

The Hague’s International Criminal Court has since launched an investigation into Putin’s invasion.

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