Putin warns against crossing Russia’s ‘red lines’, talks military
Russian President Vladimir Putin attends the Interior Ministry Expanded Councils February 26, 2020 in Moscow, Russia.
Mikhail Svetlov | Getty Images
Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his annual State of the Nation address, on Wednesday warned against provoking his country, promising swift retaliation against anyone crossing the “red lines”.
Moscow will respond “harshly”, “quickly” and “asymmetrically” to foreign provocations, Putin told an audience of senior Russian officials and lawmakers, adding that he “hoped” that no foreign actor crossed the “red lines” of Russia. Russia, according to Reuters Translation.
Putin also touted the country’s planned investment in expanded military education, hypersonic weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles – while simultaneously insisting that Russia wants peace and arms control deals.
The 68-year-old leader condemned what he described as the constant tendency of international actors to blame Russia for its wrongdoing, saying it has become like a sport.
The comments came in the final half hour of the 90-minute speech, which mainly focused on Russia’s fight against the coronavirus pandemic and national economic and social problems.
The speech came against a backdrop of worsening tensions with the United States and the EU, and follows the recent imposition of sanctions on Russia by the Biden administration for alleged cyber attacks, human rights violations. man and a reinforcement of the Russian army along the border with Ukraine.
As the speech unfolded, protests took place across Russia in support of Putin’s jailed critic Alexei Navalny, who became dangerously ill and was transferred to a prison hospital following a hunger strike. The news prompted the United States to warn that there would be “consequences” if Russia allowed Navalny to die in prison.
More than 100 people have been arrested on Wednesday during protests so far, according to OVD-Info, an independent Russian NGO that monitors the rallies.
In addition, Russia has been accused of orchestrating an attack on a Czech arms depot in 2014, with the Czech Republic expelling 18 Russian diplomats in recent days.
Russia denies that two of its military intelligence operatives – the same men believed to have carried out a nerve agent attack on a former spy in Britain in 2018 – carried out the Czech attack, but the news nonetheless added the flood of negative news around Putin. Russia.