Speaking with French media on Thursday, Macron slammed  Putin for threatening the use of nuclear devices and reminded him France also has an advanced weapons programme.  

It comes after the Russian President earlier this week told state TV 'weapons exist in order to use them' in reference to the possibility of deploying nukes should Western troops be deployed in Ukraine.    '

We must first and foremost feel protected because we are a nuclear power. We are ready; we have a doctrine (for the use of nuclear weapons),' Macron told reporters, saying the Kremlin's willingness to issue nuclear threats was inappropriate.    

Having nuclear weapons 'imposes on us the responsibility never to escalate,' Macron said, in a dig at the constant reminders issued by top Russian officials and media personalities of their nuclear arsenal.   

His statements come amid a hardening of Paris' stance towards Moscow after Macron abandoned his longstanding efforts to maintain a closer bond with Putin.