Russian President Vladimir Putin says if the United States and Russia decided to use their nuclear weapons in a potential conflict with one another, no one would survive that war to claim victory.
“I don’t think anyone would survive such a [nuclear] conflict,” said Putin in an interview by American film director Oliver Stone, which is to be broadcast next week as a documentary titled “The Putin Interviews” by a US-based cable network.
Stone had asked Putin whether the US would emerge “dominant” in a “hot war.”
In the interview, a short portion of which was made available to RT as a teaser for the documentary, Putin further described the US-led NATO military alliance as an instrument of American foreign policy and said those states that join the organization as members inevitably become US “vassals.”
“Once a country becomes a NATO member, it is hard to resist the pressures of the US. And all of a sudden, any weapons system can be placed in this country. An anti-ballistic missile system, new military bases, and if need be, new offensive systems,” said the Russian president.
Russia has long been concerned by the military alliance’s expansion toward its borders.
In the interview, Putin said NATO was persistently looking for an enemy to justify its existence.
“There is no longer an Eastern Bloc, no more Soviet Union. Therefore, why does NATO keep existing?” he asked, adding, “My impression is that in order to justify its existence, NATO has a need of an external foe, there is a constant search for the foe, or some acts of provocation to name someone as an adversary.”
He then argued that Russia “is forced to” take countermeasures over the ever-growing NATO threat and armed military build-up on Russian borders.
“We have to aim our missile systems at facilities that are threatening us. The situation becomes more tense,” Putin said.
In the short clip of the documentary, Stone claimed he held credible information that Putin had survived “at least five assassination attempts,” which the Russian leader implied had been successfully foiled by his security team.
“I do my job and the security officers do theirs, and they are still performing quite successfully,” Putin said, noting that “I trust them.”
In the interview, Putin indicated his belief in God. In response to the question, “What is your fate sir, do you know?” Putin said, “Only God knows our destiny – yours and mine.”
Apparently referring to the prospect of death, he then said, “One day, this is going to happen to each and every one of us. The question is what we will have accomplished by then in this transient world, and whether we’ll have enjoyed our life?”