MOSCOW, October 27. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin refrained from commenting on the possibility of a nuclear conflict at a plenary session of the Valdai International Discussion Club on Thursday.
The session’s moderator, Valdai Discussion Club Research Director Fyodor Lukyanov, pointed out that the "nuclear factor" had come into the spotlight in recent months. "Many people became slightly nervous remembering what you said on this very platform, at our event four years ago, that we would all go to heaven. But we are in no hurry, right?" Lukyanov said, addressing the head of state. "Now that you seem to be lost in thought it’s somewhat alarming," he added after a pause. "I became absorbed in thought for a purpose, to disturb you all. The goal has been achieved," Putin replied.
The Russian leader noted at the Valdai Club’s plenary session in 2018 that if nuclear weapons were used against Russia, revenge would be inevitable. Putin said back then: "We will go to heaven as victims of aggression and martyrs, while they will simply die because they won't even have time to repent." Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov later stressed that the heaven remark was an allegory and Putin’s main message was that Russia did not reserve the right to carry out a preventive strike in its doctrine but could only use nuclear weapons in response to an attack.