Russian President Vladimir Putin warned at least the second time in months that the risk of a catastrophic nuclear conflict should not be underestimated, saying atomic warfare could lead to the destruction of civilizations as a whole, even the planet.
Burnishing his image in a televised press conference on Dec.20, he sent signals to the United States and the rest of the world of being in complete power, and reassured Russians that they are in good hands.
He said he hopes common sense will prevail.
He squarely blamed the United States, said, it was bad that the United States and Russia are not holding talks on New START, a long-range nuclear weapons treaty expiring in 2021. The treaty can be extended by five years if both countries agree.
He criticized the United States for abandoning Cold War-era arms treaties and warned West was antagonizing Moscow at its own peril for their own domestic reasons.
Painting himself as the protector of the world, he said he did not want to dominate the world, dismissing claims of Russian interference in other countries.
Putin said it’s the US, not Russia, that’s aspiring to dominate the world. He pointed at US annual defence spending exceeding $700 billion, comparing it with Russia’s military budget of $46 billion.
However, he welcomed President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States military from Syria.