Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Friday claimed that the West has failed to “fully realize” the threat of a nuclear conflict with Moscow and suggested the war in Ukraine could last for “decades.”
Medvedev, an ardent supporter of Russian President of Vladimir Putin and a hawk, said NATO’s support for Ukraine accounts to a proxy war that could boil over if it continues aiding Kyiv.
“The Anglo-Saxons do not fully realize this and believe that it will not come to this. It will under certain conditions,” he said according to a Reuters report.
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The current deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council further argued that aiding Ukraine in developing a nuclear weapon – a suggestion that no Western nation has publicly proposed – would prompt a Russian “missile with a nuclear charge coming to them.”
“There are irreversible laws of war. If it comes to nuclear weapons, there will have to be a pre-emptive strike,” Medvedev said.
The hawkish Russian elite has repeatedly issued inflammatory comments regarding the threat of nuclear warfare with the West over the conflict in Ukraine, and in March said that “nothing can be ruled out” when it comes to Russia’s war effort.
Medvedev also told Russian news agencies Friday that so long as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy remains in office the war will continue – potentially for decades.
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“This conflict will last for a very long time. For decades, probably. This is a new reality,” he said before calling Zelenskyy a “clown.”
“Everything always ends in negotiations, and this is inevitable, but as long as these people are in power, the situation for 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 Friday was set to arrive in Moscow to discuss a peace plan with its top ally – though Western officials remain skeptical of its ability to hold such talks free of bias.
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Kyiv has also made clear it will not agree to any peace negotiations until Russia removes its armed forces that have been illegally waging war in Ukraine since February 2022.
Zelenskyy plans to address plans for ending the war, with Western, allies at a “global summit” in July.