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Direct clash with Nato will lead to ‘global catastrophe’: Putin

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ASTANA: Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday that any direct clash of Nato troops with Russia would lead to a “global catastrophe”.

“I hope that those who are saying this are smart enough not to take such steps,” Putin said at a news conference in the Kazakh capital Astana following a summit of ex-Soviet nations.

The Russian president also said he saw “no need” for talks with his US counterpart Joe Biden, as tensions with Washington soar over a litany of issues including Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

“We should ask him if he’s ready to hold such talks with me or not. I don’t see the need, to be honest,” Putin said, when asked about a potential meeting with Biden on the sidelines of a G20 summit in November.

Russian president says he sees ‘no need’ for talks with Biden

He added that his participation in the summit hosted by Indonesia is not yet decided. “The question of my trip there has not been finalised. Russia will certainly take part. As for the format, we’re still thinking about it,” Putin told reporters. Speaking earlier this week, Biden said he had “no intention” of meeting with Putin but did not rule out potential talks.

‘No need now for massive strikes’
Putin said he does not plan more “massive” strikes against Ukraine “for now” and that the Kremlin’s aim was not to “destroy” the pro-Western country.

“There is no need now for massive strikes. There are other tasks. For now.

And then it will be clear,“ Putin said. “We do not set ourselves the task of destroying Ukraine.”

He spoke days after Russia unleashed a wave of missile strikes across Ukraine, including on the capital Kyiv.

Putin, who sent troops to Ukraine on February 24, is facing increasing isolation and criticism even from allies.

But he said Russia is “doing everything right” in Ukraine — despite a failed attempt to topple the government and weeks of territorial losses.

“What is happening today is not pleasant. But all the same (if Russia hadn’t attacked in February) we would have been in the same situation, only the conditions would have been worse for us,” he said. “So we’re doing everything right.”

Published in Dawn, October 15th, 2022


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