Russia's Medvedev says arms supplies to Kyiv threaten global nuclear catastrophe

Deputy Chairman of Russia's Security Council Medvedev gives an interview outside Moscow
Deputy Chairman of Russia's Security Council Dmitry Medvedev gives an interview at the Gorki state residence outside Moscow, Russia on January 25, 2022. Picture taken January 25, 2022. Sputnik/Yulia Zyryanova/Pool via REUTERS

Feb 27 (Reuters) - Russia's former president and an ally of President Vladimir Putin said in remarks published on Monday that the West's continued supply of arms to Kyiv risked a global nuclear catastrophe, reiterating his threat of nuclear war over Ukraine.

Dmitry Medvedev's apocalyptic rhetoric has been seen as an attempt to deter the U.S-led NATO military alliance and Kyiv's Western allies from getting even more involved in the year-old war that has dealt Moscow setbacks on the battlefield.

The latest comments by Medvedev, who serves as deputy chairman of Putin's powerful security council, follow Putin's nuclear warning last week and his Sunday remarks casting Moscow's confrontation with the West as an existential battle for the survival of Russia and the Russian people.

"Of course, the pumping in of weapons can continue .... and prevent any possibility of reviving negotiations," Medvedev said in remarks published in the daily Izvestia.

"Our enemies are doing just that, not wanting to understand that their goals will certainly lead to a total fiasco. Loss for everyone. A collapse. Apocalypse. Where you forget for centuries about your former life, until the rubble ceases to emit radiation."

Speaking on the sidelines of the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva, French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna dismissed Medvedev's comments as "inflammatory rhetoric."

"Mr. Medvedev, alas, has long accustomed us to irresponsible, outrageous statements that in no way reflect reality," she said. "This is inflammatory rhetoric that we would gladly do without."

Reporting by David Ljunggren, Additional reporting by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber in Geneva; Writing by Lidia Kelly in Melbourne; Editing by Michael Perry and Gareth Jones

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