Russian president, Vladimir Putin has described former British Prime Minister Liz Truss as ‘crazy’ amid accusations that Western powers are engaged in ‘nuclear blackmail of Russia’.
During a speech in Moscow, the Russian president said Truss must have been ‘a bit out of it’ and he claimed to have ‘never said anything proactively about possible use of nuclear weapons by Russia’.
‘We have only hinted in response to statements made by western leaders,’ he insisted, pointing out that Russian military doctrine dictates nuclear weapons should only be deployed in ‘self-defence’.
Truss previously labelled Putin’s threats to use nuclear weapons against the West as ‘sabre-rattling’ when she spoke at the UN General Assembly in September.
Alongside his criticism of Truss, Putin asserted Kyiv has the technology to create and potentially detonate a ‘dirty bomb’ in Ukraine. He also refuted claims that Russian forces were attacking the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant located in territory controlled by Russia in southern Ukraine.
The Russian leader went on to accuse westerners of ‘fanning the flames’ of war in Ukraine and Taiwan, of sparking a global energy crisis, and of causing a food crisis.
Putin warned the world has entered its most dangerous period since the Second World War and a ‘new world order’ must emerge in which Russia gets a bigger say, declaring that the ‘age of western domination is over’.
‘Dominion of the world is what West has decided to stake in this game. It is a dangerous, deadly and dirty game,’ he added.
Putin also said Russia ‘is not an enemy of the West’ and ‘only wants the right to develop’ – he made it clear that any talks on his ‘new order’ would have to be on Moscow’s terms.
The West, he added, had repeatedly rejected Moscow’s plans for peace laid out before the war in Ukraine – such as the withdrawal of all NATO troops from ex-Soviet states, against the wishes of their governments – and accused it of war-mongering.
He claimed that he had told the West: ‘Let’s be friends, have dialogue and strengthen trust and peace.’
‘We were completely sincere,’ he added. ‘What did we get in response? A ‘no’ on every possible area of cooperation.’
However, the US and NATO had both sent letters to Russia laying out possible grounds for cooperation before Putin invaded Ukraine, which Moscow rejected.
‘Russia is not an enemy of the West,’ he insisted, but will continue to oppose neo-liberal elites and their world-view.
”Russia will never accept Western countries telling it what to do, and the longer the West take to realise this the higher the price will be, he added.
In his speech, Putin accused NATO of ‘starting to seize the territories of Ukraine long ago’ and insisted he was forced to invade to protect people.
Russia is now in its ninth month of the Ukraine war and is so-far yet to achieve Putin’s war aims, which included the overthrow of the government and the ‘liberation’ of the Donbas region.