Russian President Vladimir Putin attends the Interior Ministry Expanded Councils February 26, 2020 in Moscow, Russia.
Mikhail Svetlov | Getty Images
Russian President Vladimir Putin warned against provoking his country in his annual State of the Union address on Wednesday, promising swift retaliation against anyone crossing Russia’s “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. But Russia wants peace and arms control agreements, he stressed simultaneously.
The 68-year-old leader also 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 amid deteriorating tensions with the United States and the EU, and follows the recent sanctions imposed on Russia by the Joe Biden administration for alleged cyber attacks, human rights violations. man and activities in Ukraine.