Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday warned that any countries attempting to interfere in Ukraine would be faced with a swift response from Russia, invoking the specter of a nuclear reprisal but not directly mentioning a nuclear weapon.

The Kremlin said on April 27 that on the Day of Russian Parliamentarism, the President met with members of the Council of Lawmakers at the Federation Council of the Russian Federation in St. Petersburg.  The meeting was reportedly held in the Tauride Palace, per tradition.

Addressing lawmakers in St. Petersburg, Putin said the West wanted to cut Russia up into different pieces and accused it of pushing Ukraine into conflict with Russia.  He said all decisions on how Russia would react in that situation have already been taken.

“If someone intends to interfere in what is going on from the outside, they must know that constitutes an unacceptable strategic threat to Russia,” Putin said. “They must know that our response to counter strikes will be lightning fast.

“We have all the tools we need for this. No one else can brag about them and we won’t brag about them. But we will use them if necessary. And I want everyone to know about it; we have made all the decisions on this matter.”

Putin’s address comes after a successful test-fire of the Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile on April 20, after which Putin said the nuclear weapon would “reliably guarantee Russia’s security against outside threats” and force Moscow’s foes to “think again.”

Test-fire of the Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile; photo / Russian defense ministry

The Sarmat is capable of carrying 10 or more nuclear warheads and decoys, and of striking targets thousands of miles away in the United States or Europe.