(CNN) — Russian President Vladimir Putin has accused the West of trying to destroy Russia.
Russian state news agency RIA Novosti reported that in an interview with Rossiya 1, Putin said the West has “one goal: to destroy the former Soviet Union and its main part – the Russian Federation.”
“And then, perhaps, they will accept us into the so-called family of civilized peoples, but only separately, each part separately. For what?” Putin said.
In comments to another channel, Putin said that Russia needs to consider NATO’s nuclear capabilities.
“In the current conditions, when all the major NATO countries have declared that their main goal is to inflict a strategic defeat on us, so that our people suffer as they say, how can we ignore their nuclear capabilities in these conditions?” Putin told him. to Rossiya 1, according to TASS.
Putin has frequently stressed the importance of modernizing Russia’s nuclear forces.
The Russian president’s comments build on his state of the union address earlier in the week.
“The United States and NATO openly declare that their goal is the strategic defeat of Russia,” he said. “So what, after that we’re supposed to let them travel around our (nuclear) facilities?”
Although the speech revisited old themes and largely recycled his arguments for invading Ukraine, he made a substantial announcement: that Russia will suspend its participation in the new START nuclear arms reduction treaty.