Putin issues ominous warning on rising nuclear war threat

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The Russian leader, who said Moscow had developed nuclear weapons which he believed gave it an edge over other countries, warned the threat of a nuclear conflict was growing as a result of the US moves.

Russian Federation and Japan have been in dispute for seven decades over island territories captured by Soviet troops in the last days of World War Two. They aren't recognising the results of elections. "And they shouldn't squeak later about us gaining unilateral advantages".

Putin told reporters at his annual news conference that Moscow was concerned by the deployment of a USA air defense system in Japan, presumably referring to the Aegis Ashore anti-missile defense system.

Putin won a landslide re-election victory in March, giving him six more years in power. How do we know this?

"We've beaten them and we've beaten them badly".

"In terms of Brexit, if it is carried through to the end, I can understand the position of the prime minister who is fighting for Brexit". At the same time the West has harshly criticized Russian Federation for its military and political support for Syrian President Bashar Assad, which US officials say has prolonged the war in Syria and the suffering of its people.

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The former Soviet Union seized the islands, along with Etorofu and Kunashiri islands, known as the Northern Territories in Japan and the Southern Kurils in Russian Federation, after Japan's surrender in World War II in 1945.

Pointing at the United States intention to withdraw from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces, or INF, Treaty, Putin warned that if the USA puts intermediate-range missiles in Europe, Russia will be forced to take countermeasures.

"It's very hard to imagine how the situation will develop (if the United States quits the INF treaty)".

"An exit from the INF Treaty could potentially lead to the [U.S.] deployment of medium-range and short-range missiles in European countries like during the Cold War", Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in an interview with the state-run Channel One broadcaster following Putin's press conference.

"We will safeguard our security".