Ukraine operation going strictly to plan - Peskov in interview with CNN
WASHINGTON. March 23 (Interfax) - The Russian special military operation in Ukraine is going strictly according to the plans and goals that were set beforehand, Russian presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov said.
"We are speaking about a special military operation that is going on and it is going on strictly in accordance with the plans and the purposes that were established beforehand," Peskov said in an English-language interview with the CNN television channel.
"No one would think from the very beginning about a couple of days. This is a serious operation with serious purposes," he said.
When commenting on its goals, Peskov listed the demilitarization of Ukraine among them.
"This is why our military is targeting only military goals and military objects on the territory of Ukraine, not civil ones," he said.
The operation's other goals are to "get rid of nationalist battalions" and to ensure that Ukraine is a "neutral country", Peskov said, adding that Ukraine, in turn, must recognize Crimea as an "untakeable part of Russia" and the Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics as independent states.
Peskov also said that Russian President Vladimir Putin is trying to get the West to hear Moscow's views on issues that cause its concern.
When asked under what circumstances Russia could use nuclear weapons, Peskov said that it could be used if there is an existential threat to the country.
"We have a concept of domestic security and it's public. You can read all the reasons for nuclear arms to be used," he said.
"So if it is an existential threat for our country, then it can be used in accordance with our concept," he said.