'WWIII could end civilisation' warns Putin as he uses annual TV phone in with Russian public to slam US over 'missile strategy' and reveals plans for a new space race and improved weaponry
Vladimir Putin has warned a third world war 'could end civilisation' as he addressed the prospect of a major global conflict.
The Russian President said the 'threat of mutual destruction' had always 'prevented leading military powers from making hasty moves'.
But speaking on his annual TV phone-in with the Russian public, he then slammed the US, claiming its 'withdrawal from treaties on anti-ballistic missiles is an attempt to put an end to strategic parity'.
He also warned of a new space race and suggested Russia will soon develop new weapons systems.
Putin asked by a caller if 'non-stop' sanctions could spark a global conflict.
He replied by quoting Albert Einstein, saying: 'I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.'
He added: 'The understanding that a third world war could be the end of civilisation should restrain us from taking extreme steps on the international arena that are highly dangerous for modern civilisation.
'The threat of mutual destruction has always restrained participants of the international arena, prevented leading military powers from making hasty moves, and compelled participants to respect each other. U.S. withdrawal from treaties on anti-ballistic missiles is an attempt to put an end to strategic parity, but we will respond to this.'
'We believe that the unilateral introduction of all kinds of sanctions does not resolve problems, it only worsens them.'
Putin also used the phone-in to address the country's space station, insisting the Kremlin needed to 'take many steps forward, including in the quality of our satellites, in the quality of our equipment, and we must return and maintain our competence in launches, there's a lot of competition in this.'
'Overall and in general, we have big and very ambitious plans for the development of our space program. I assure you were will continue down this path. It is no accident that we spent a lot on building a new space base in the east of our country.'
On weaponry, he confirmed his plans for a 'global-range missile and an unmanned underwater vessel' but added: 'This is not all we plan to produce and put into service. It's too early to talk about it but we will do so soon.'
hillwalker1113, assorted, United Kingdom, 1 week ago
Maybe for us humans but life endures, just ask the dinosaurs.
diblley44, chatham, United Kingdom, 1 week ago
A World leader knows the likely outcome of a nuclear war for the planet /humanity. But still does not pursue peace, with a Country the size and powerful as Russia, if the large Nations cannot advocate peace, one can only hope for the future.
Mistadobolina, London, United Kingdom, 1 week ago
It wouldn't end all life. We overestimate nuclear devastation. The planet is massive. Chances are those launching the weapons would be those most affected in a tit for tat.
Newguy, London, United Kingdom, 1 week ago
Some of the colonies have done better than others but the legacy of Brittania still rules the planet Paddy.
Ravfox, Penzance, United Kingdom, 1 week ago
Putin is like the neighbourhood bully who tells those who stand up to him that THEY are going to cause a fight.
Ted Arrow Wallinbro, Wellingborough, United Kingdom, 1 week ago
What civilization would that be then?
Fatoldgit, Grimsby, United Kingdom, 1 week ago
Putin knows all too well World War 3 will end all life on planet Earth.
taylordawe, Dorchester, United Kingdom, 1 week ago
'WWIII could end civilisation warns Putin' - What a bright guy. Nothing gets past him. No wonder they keep voting him back in.
Kay Lowrey, Ipswich, United Kingdom, 1 week ago
If this is what you call civilisation, do us all a favour and finish it off. A new beginning is what's needed for this poor planet.
Fyo_Dostoyev, Tiny little island, French Polynesia, 1 week ago
Putin, nobody cares about Russia and your threats. Even though you and your friends belong in jail for murder and embezzlement, you're yesterday's news.
winners and losers, England , United Kingdom, 1 week ago
No one cares what you say Putin ! My dad's bigger than your dad routine not fooling anybody
lustgarten, LiverpoolC, United Kingdom, 1 week ago
Putin and May both have a problem. Nobody takes any notice of them any more
PurpleTiger, Cuenca, Ecuador, 1 week ago
Nothing scares me so much as the total lack of any brain power shown by commentators here. A tealight candle about to go out looks like a searchlight compared to all the mush for brains put together here. Any manipulator could do anything they want with you. And then I reflect that you all have a vote - and I can see the problem with democracy right there.
GtmyshEttogthr, Southern, United States, 1 week ago
I love all of the bluster. Let's be real here.....every country knows that if any one of them starts a nuclear or otherwise catastrophic war then it will be the war that ends civilization. So that is not going to happen. Why? Self preservation and greed. But they love to talk about it and scare people. WAKE UP and understand the political BS being shoved down your throat.
Whendoesitend, Manchester , United Kingdom, 1 week ago
The guys threatening nuclear war and people call the West the warmongers?
Tin Man, london, United Kingdom, 1 week ago
About time he compensated the UK for his attack on Salisbury.
Ringthebell, Kinston, United States, 1 week ago
Putin should have thought of that before he helped put the village idiot in the WH.
Newguy, London, United Kingdom, 1 week ago
The Russians have no chance of keeping up with the US
Dolphin111, By the Sea, United States, 1 week ago
Of course a WW3 could (if not, would) end civilization. This is not news. We should be in an era of peace, but MSM would never let that happen.
Rob, PutinIwantMyRubles, Russia, 1 week ago
Hillary would have declared WW3 months ago ....Thank God for President Trump ..MAGA
oscartheone, London, United Kingdom, 1 week ago
About 9 or 10 months after 911, GW Bush said that he envisaged a world in a new dark age and that in order to save life on earth we may well have to impose a dark age scenario upon the earth. In other words, to save the planet, world war 3 may be our only option
Matt 1, Hungerford, United Kingdom, 1 week ago
What scares me most is this, if this dictator ever got terminal cancer, I think he'd push the button & start WWIII, to make a name for himself in history, if there's anyone left to record it
Bluebell1010, Aberdeen, United Kingdom, 1 week ago
WWIII is already going on it's virus wars they have designed a virus to wipe out rh positives it's called Ebola only rh negatives will survive hold on what's the blood type of all the leaders royals etc
Kayton Leslie, niagara falls, Canada, 1 week ago
Putin you surely like to talk alot, you are starting to sound like a propoganda machine. keep this up and in the blink of an eye your beloved country of Russia will be no more. trust me its coming.
dragosani, birmingham, United Kingdom, 1 week ago
Putin has nothing to offer but death because he is a son of the devil. His time is coming to an end and he will go to his father and languish in that place forever more.
phil414, memphis, United States, 1 week ago
Let's hear Putin out.who wants to be sitting in their house when someone knocks on the door and having to tell that knocker to keep their radioactive bum outside.
Bob Jones 1, London, 1 week ago
You do not have the cash Putin. You and your gangster mates are busy lining your own pockets rather than looking after our Russian brothers.
BeateBerlin, Berlin, Germany, 1 week ago
if WW III ends civilization caused by nuclear weapons, then that statement is probably true, but then he will be destroyed too...and if he would survive in some nuclear secure house or what ever, whats the sense of surviving if he is one of three or four which will survive, so no one left for him to terrorize, and nothing really left he can do on earth if all civilization is destroyed...stupid threat
CHAS, Hampshire, United Kingdom, 1 week ago
Turned on the news to world war 3, opened up the paper to world war 4, just when I thought it was time to be bored, trouble waiting to happen. Thanks to the late, great Warren Zevon for that.
null, 1 week ago
Putin and Trump have jointly managed to totally destroy them amazing work of Gorby and Regan (and Thatcher) in the 80's yo end the Cold War .. great job guys .. just press the buttons and get it over with !!!