A Kremlin propagandist with close links to Vladimir Putin has said that Russia should use nuclear weapons against the West to protect Russian speakers in the Baltic states.
Vladimir Solovyov was giving his reaction to restrictions being proposed in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia on Russian citizens and Russian speakers, in response to Putin’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
Estonia’s government has made it more difficult for Russian citizens to enter the country. Latvia has declared Russia a “state sponsor of terrorism”, stopped issuing entry visas to Russian citizens and is looking to restrict Russian-language use in workplaces.
Meanwhile, Lithuania, which in June was involved in a dispute with Moscow over the transport of goods via its territory to the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad, has backed an EU-wide push to ban Russian tourists.
Calling the Baltic states “Nazi,” he said that “you want to prohibit us, the Russian people from being able to speak our own language, even though 40 percent of Latvians are Russian speakers.”
“OK, we are going to send in our troops to defend the Russian-speaking population,” he said during a segment on his show Full Contact on the Russia-1 channel on Tuesday.
“Will the NATO countries jump in?” he said, asking whether European capitals were “ready to burn from the strikes of our missiles, and if necessary, from our tactical nuclear weapons.”
“Will America be ready to step into battle” to defend the Baltic states which are “violating the rights of Russian speakers?”
Solovyov then referred to nuclear-capable Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles [ICBMs] that Putin has been boasting about following their tests earlier this year.
“Will America be ready to open up its territory to the strikes of Poseidons, Sarmats,” or other hypersonic weapons.
“If NATO gets involved, our approach will be different, those aren’t our people, we will have no pity for them,” he said, referring to how Moscow would respond with tactical and strategic weapons. “Do they really want to irritate us in this way?”
“I really want to understand when NATO contemplates this issue, are they ready to end up in a nuclear war?”
He went on to suggest that the Kremlin enlist the help of 100,000 North Korean troops to help Russian forces in Ukraine.
The clip was shared by journalist and Russia watcher Julia Davis who tweeted: “Russia’s top propagandist Vladimir Solovyov, twice honored by Putin for his “service to the Fatherland,” threatens the US & Europe with nuclear war if they defend the Baltics from Russia.”
Solovyov has been among the Russian state broadcasters who has been talking up Putin’s invasion of Ukraine as a confrontation between Moscow and NATO, railing at the West providing military help to Ukraine and threatening nuclear strikes on Western capitals.
On August 10, Kremlin official Sergey Kiriyenko, said NATO “is fighting a war against Russia, on the territory of Ukraine and by the Ukrainians’ hands.”
Newsweek has contacted NATO for comment.
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