Russian Federation would use nuclear arms if under missile attack, Vladimir Putin says

Putin and el Sisi were shown the features of Aurus' new Senat limousine

Putin and el Sisi were shown the features of Aurus' new Senat limousine Credit AP

Putin made the comments at an global policy forum in Sochi.

Israel and the United States have demanded the withdrawal of all Iranian forces from Syria. "They will simply drop dead, won't even have time to repent", Putin said during a session of the Valdai Club in Sochi.

He said Syria should be offered security guarantees by "those who want to see the Iranian forces pullout".

Russian Federation is a key backer of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who has long sought to characterise his brutal crackdown on opposition groups as a fight against jihadists.

President Vladimir Putin hailed new missiles in Russia's military arsenals but emphasized Thursday that the country would only use its nuclear weapons in response to an incoming missile attack.

Russia's Kinzhal hypersonic missile has already been deployed and another weapon - the intercontinental Avangard - is poised for deployment in the next few months.

Mr Putin said the missile, which was tested late a year ago, had an unlimited range and could penetrate any missile defence. "Or it might happen after the 2020 USA presidential election, when [President Trump] will no longer have to constantly look back at those who engage in anti-Russian rhetoric".

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"The Islamic State was controlling the camp for three hours and took the people hostage from the camp to inside the ISIS area", he said.

Mr Putin said threats have been made against the lives of the hostages, which include several USA and European nationals.

At the same time, the Russian president sharply criticized Washington's reliance on sanctions against Russia and others, saying the instrument of punishment "undermines trust in the dollar as a universal payment instrument and the main reserve currency".

President Vladimir Putin says Russian Federation would wait for the outcome of an investigation into the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi before deciding what impact the dissident writer's fate may have on relations with Saudi Arabia.

Abdulrahman said that Belgian and French nationals were among the hostages.

Putin alleged "the US bears a certain responsibility" for what happened to Khashoggi, a Saudi citizen who went into self-imposed exile in the U.S.

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