Russian President Vladimir Putin said on February 26 that Russia had no choice but to take into account the nuclear capabilities of NATO as the U.S.-led military alliance was seeking the defeat of Russia.
"In today's conditions, when all the leading NATO countries have declared their main goal as inflicting a strategic defeat on us, so that our people suffer as they say, how can we ignore their nuclear capabilities in these conditions?" Mr. Putin told Rossiya 1 state television, according to TASS.
The West, Mr. Putin said, wanted to liquidate Russia.
"They have one goal: to disband the former Soviet Union and its fundamental part - the Russian Federation," Mr. Putin said, according to TASS.
The West, he said, was an indirect accomplice to the "crimes" committed by Ukraine.