President Putin says West trying to 'hold back' powerful Russian Federation

Putin warns on growing risks of nuclear war

There was a growing tendency to underestimate the threat of nuclear war, the Russian leader said.

"The danger of such a development of events [as a nuclear catastrophe] has been somewhat blurred, is going away". It now seems to be impossible, something not of crucial importance.

"If, God forbid, something like that were to happen, it would lead to the end of all civilization and maybe also the planet", said Putin. It is, therefore, a serious issue.

Trump said on Wednesday that the United States had defeated the radical Islamist militant group in Syria, and that this fulfilled the only goal for keeping USA troops in the country.

"For mankind this is very bad, because it will take us to a risky point", Putin said, expressing concern about moves to lower the threshold for the use of nuclear weapons, including the USA decision to produce lower-yield missiles. "Lowering the threshold could lead to a global nuclear catastrophe", he said.

Putin also pointed out the Japanese government is building an alternative base for the US air station Futenma, now located in central Okinawa, in the Henoko district of Nago, further north, despite strong opposition from local residents and Okinawa Gov. Denny Tamaki.

Faced with a rather provocative question from the WSJ Moscow Bureau Chief, Ann Maria Simmons, Putin said that "when it comes to ruling the world we know very well where the headquarters [of those], who are trying to do exactly that", is located.

"I do generally agree with the USA president", he said, "We have made some major advances against terrorists in Syria, though there is a danger those groups might now infiltrate neighboring countries like Afghanistan and their countries of origin - which poses a threat to all of us in Russia, Europe, the USA and the Central Asian countries".

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The U.S. has said it would exit the agreement because Russian Federation had violated its terms.

Russia will be forced to develop new weapons systems, the Russian leader signaled.

Putin said accusations of Russian interference in the West were trumped-up. Russian President Vladimir Putin says leaving the treaty "would be a very risky step".

Putin also emphasised that the U.S. is pondering the use of ballistic missiles with conventional warheads, saying that the launch of such a missile could be mistaken for the launch of a nuclear-tipped one.

Washington has threatened to pull out of the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), alleging that the new Russian missile, the Novator 9M729 (called SSC-8 by NATO), violates the pact, which bans either side from stationing short and intermediate-range, land-based missiles in Europe. The pullout is also likely to strengthen Russia's role in Syria's future.

"You aren't interested, you don't need it?" Signed by then Soviet Union Secretary General Mikhail Gorbachev and US President Ronald Reagan in 1987, the agreement is deterrent in nature and was largely created to prevent prospects of a full-scale nuclear war in Europe.

He showed no sign of backing down from Russia's stance on Ukraine, accusing his Ukrainian counterpart of provoking a naval standoff with Russian Federation to boost his electoral prospects.

"Imagine a submarine firing a ballistic missile: How on Earth should we figure out whether it's nuclear or not?" he said.

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