Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Friday that the West had not “fully realized” the threat of a nuclear conflict with Moscow and suggested that the war in Ukraine could last “for decades”.
Medvedev, a staunch supporter of Russian President Vladimir Putin and a hawk, said NATO support for Ukraine was tied to a proxy war that could boil over if it continued to help Kiev.
“The Anglo-Saxons don’t fully realize this and think they won’t get to this. It will happen under certain conditions,” he said according to a Reuters report.
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The current Deputy Chairman of the Russian Security Council further argued that helping Ukraine develop a nuclear weapon – a suggestion that no Western country has publicly offered – would set off a “Russian missile with a nuclear charge coming to them”.
“There are irreversible laws of war. If it’s nuclear weapons, there will have to be a preemptive strike,” Medvedev said.
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Russia’s warmongering elite has repeatedly made inflammatory comments about the threat of nuclear war with the West over the conflict in Ukraine, and said in March that “nothing can be ruled out” regarding the Russia’s war effort.
Medvedev also told Russian news agencies on Friday that as long as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy remains in power, the war will continue – potentially for decades.
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“This conflict is going to last a very long time. Decades, probably. It’s a new reality,” he said before calling Zelensky a “clown.”
“Everything always ends in negotiations, and that is inevitable, but as long as these people are in power, the situation in Russia will not change in terms of negotiations,” he added.
Zelenskyy has called on international partners to help facilitate a peace deal with Russia, and a Chinese envoy was due to arrive in Moscow on Friday to discuss a peace plan with its main ally – although Western officials remain skeptical about his ability to hold such talks without bias.
Kyiv has also made it clear that it will not agree to any peace negotiations until Russia withdraws its armed forces which have been illegally waging war in Ukraine since February 2022.
Zelenskyy plans to address plans to end Russia’s war with Western allies at a “global summit” in July.