Russian President, Vladimir Putin, says a direct conflict between Russia and NATO would mean that the planet is one step away from World War Three, according to Reuters.

The comments came as Putin claimed a landslide victory in Russia’s presidential election with 87.8 per cent of the votes.

The US, Germany, the UK, and other nations have said the election was neither free nor fair due to the imprisonment of political opponents and censorship.

During his post-election briefing, Putin said, “It is clear to everyone that this will be one step away from a full-scale World War Three. I think hardly anyone is interested in this.”

French President Emmanuel Macron previously stated that he could not rule out the possibility of deploying ground troops in Ukraine.

Responding to questions about Macron’s statements and the risks and possibility of conflict between Russia and NATO, Putin said, “Everything is possible in the modern world.”

Putin added that NATO servicemen were already in Ukraine.

Earlier, Putin stated that Russia was technically ready for nuclear war. He said if the United States sent troops to Ukraine, it would be seen as a significant escalation of the conflict.

In response, French President Macron stated that Putin should not make threats when his country possesses nuclear weapons.

According to the French president, he has not spoken with Putin for several months. Such dialogue was held “when necessary.”

In the United States, in response to Putin’s statements, it was noted that they do not see any plans by Russia to use nuclear weapons against Ukraine.