Russian President Vladimir Putin warned the threat of a nuclear war should not be discounted and criticized the U.S.' move to withdraw from an international nuclear treaty.
Speaking at his annual media press conference, Putin was asked by one journalist to assess the threat of nuclear war or a third world war.
"The danger of the situation is being downplayed," Putin told the audience of over 1,000 journalists at his year-end question and answer session.
"It now seems to be impossible, something without crucial importance, but at the same time if something like this would happen this would lead to the collapse of the entire civilization and maybe our planet. So this is an important question," he said via a translator.
"Unfortunately, we have this trend to underestimate the current situation. There are dangers, there are risks in our day-to-day lives. What are those risks? First and foremost, the collapse of the international system of arms control, of moving away from an arms race," he said.