During an economic forum, Putin stated that using nuclear weapons would only occur in case of a threat to Russia’s territory or state.
According to the US government, no evidence suggests that the Kremlin intends to employ nuclear weapons for an offensive against Ukraine.
“We don’t see any indications that Russia is preparing to use a nuclear weapon,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said after Mr Putin’s comments.
Belarus, a crucial ally of Russia, played a significant role as a launchpad for Mr. Putin’s extensive invasion of Ukraine in February of the previous year.
The tactical nuclear warheads being transferred possess less potency than a substantial portion of Russia’s nuclear arsenal. Putin affirmed that the transfer would be completed by the conclusion of the summer season.
During a question and answer session following his speech at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum, the Russian president explained that the objective of the move was to maintain control and serve as a reminder to anyone contemplating a strategic defeat against Russia.
In response to a query from the forum’s moderator regarding the potential use of these weapons, he stated, “Why should we pose a threat to the entire world? I have previously stated that the implementation of extreme measures is possible in the event that Russian statehood is endangered.”
Following their visit to Kyiv as part of a peace initiative presented to both countries, the African leaders are scheduled to meet with the Russian leader in St Petersburg.
However, while they were in the city, it came under missile attack from Russia. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa called for de-escalation on both sides and emphasized the need for negotiations to achieve peace.
“We came here to listen and recognize what the people of Ukraine have gone through,” he said.
However, President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine expressed the view that it should be diplomatically isolated instead of engaging in diplomatic outreach toward Russia to convey a message of international condemnation for its invasion.
According to Mr. Zelensky, Kyiv would not negotiate with Moscow as long as it continued to occupy Ukrainian territory.
Mr. Putin reiterated his belief that Ukraine had no chance of achieving success in its ongoing counter-offensive.
He further stated that the Ukrainian military was facing depletion of its military equipment and would soon rely solely on equipment donated by Western countries.
“You can’t fight for long like that,” he said, warning that any F16 US fighter jets given to Ukraine “will burn, no doubt about it.”
Ukraine has disregarded statements of a similar nature, as they assert that they are making advancements in reclaiming territories in the country’s eastern and southern parts.
It is important to note that the BBC cannot independently verify claims made on the battlefield.
In addition to discussing military matters, the Russian president also focused on economic topics, stating that the Western sanctions imposed on Russia did not succeed in isolating the country. Instead, he highlighted an “expansion” in trade with “the markets of the future,” referring to new agreements with Asian, Middle Eastern, and Latin American countries. He praised these nations as “reliable, responsible partners.”