Moscow on Thursday criticized the statements of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who spoke of “preventive strikes” by NATO against Russia, and then Kyiv specified that Mr. Zelensky was talking about preventive sanctions, not nuclear strikes.
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Zelensky spoke Thursday during a video conference with the Australian Lowy Institute.
“What should NATO do? Eliminate the possibility of Russia’s use of nuclear weapons. But above all, I appeal to the international community once again, as it was before February 24: preventive strikes, so that they know what will happen to them if they use them,” declared the Ukrainian president.
And not the other way around, waiting for nuclear strikes from Russia to be able to say: ‘Oh! Well, are you doing that? So, now take that from us!’ See the way he puts pressure, that’s what NATO has to do, see the way he uses Mr. Zelensky continued.
Following these statements, Mr. Zelensky’s spokesman, Sergio Nikiforov, clarified that these remarks were related to preventive sanctions that could have been imposed on Moscow before the February 24 attack, and not preemptive military strikes.
The President spoke about the period leading up to February 24th. It was then that it was necessary to take preventive measures so as not to allow Russia to start the war. I remind you that the only measures that were in question at the time were sanctions,” he wrote on Facebook, saying that Kyiv “never demanded” the use of nuclear weapons.
wave of opinions
Several senior Russian officials strongly criticized the remarks made by Mr. Zelensky on Thursday evening.
“Such statements are nothing but a call to start a new world war with unforeseen and dangerous consequences,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was quoted by RIA Novosti news agency as saying.
He called on the United States, the United Kingdom and the European Union to respond to these statements, considering that these countries were de facto directing Kyiv’s actions.
For her part, spokeswoman for Russian diplomacy Maria Zakharova accused the West of “provoking a nuclear war.”
“Every person on Earth should realize that this deranged and full of weapons, Zelensky, this puppet, has turned into a monster that can destroy the planet,” she wrote on Telegram.