Amid Ukraine's strong pushback on Kremlin's invasion, Russia President Vladimir Putin has said that the counter-offensive will not affect his country's plans. Interestingly, this comes after US President Joe Biden warned Putin against the use of chemical or tactical nuclear weapons.
While vowing to continue with military action against Ukraine, Putin said Russia has not yet deployed its full forces. He was speaking at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit at Samarkand in Uzbekistan.
"Our offensive operation in the Donbas is not stopping. They're moving forward - not at a very fast pace - but they are gradually taking more and more territory," Putin was quoted by BBC News.
Though he did not reveal what Russia's response will be to Ukraine's counter-offensive, Putin said he was not in a hurry. "We see activity there, and there. Well, the Kyiv authorities announced that they have launched and are conducting an active counter-offensive operation. Well, let's see how it ends," he added.
He, however, warned of a "more serious" response if Ukrainian attacks continue. "The Russian Armed Forces have dealt several significant blows. You should assume these are warning strikes," he added. The Russian president also said that his army isn't fighting in its entirety.
Meanwhile, Biden has warned Putin against the use of nuclear weapons, saying his actions will change the face of war, unlike anything since World War II.
Biden said there will be consequences if Putin were to cross that line. "They'll become more of a pariah in the world than they ever have been. And depending on the extent of what they do will determine what response would occur," he told a news channel the other day.
Earlier, during a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the SOC, Modi had pressed Putin to end the conflict in Ukraine, saying "today's era is not of war" even as he called for finding ways to address the global food and energy security crisis. "I know today's era is not of war. We discussed this issue with you on phone several times, that democracy, diplomacy and dialogue touch the entire world. We will have the opportunity to talk today about how we can move forward on the road of peace in the coming days," Modi told Putin.
Modi's stance was praised by the Western media which said the speech underlined Russia’s widening isolation on the world stage. "The distancing from Putin by the heads of the world’s two most populous countries [India and China]—both of which have been pivotal to sustaining Russia’s economy in the face of Western sanctions—punctured the Kremlin’s message that Russia was far from a global pariah," The New York Times report read.