Putin warns against crossing Russia’s ‘red lines’, talks about military

Russian President Vladimir Putin participates in the Extended Council of the Ministry of Interior on February 26, 2020 in Moscow, Russia.

Mikhail Svetlov | Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his annual State of the Nation address, warned on Wednesday against provocation to his country, promising rapid retaliation against anyone who crossed the “red lines”.

Moscow will respond “harshly”, “quickly” and “asymmetrically” to foreign provocations, Putin told an audience of Russian senior officials and lawmakers, adding that he “hoped” that no foreign actors would cross Russia’s “red lines”, according to a Reuters report. Translation.

Putin also praised the country’s planned investment in expanding military education, hypersonic weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles. But Russia wants peace and arms control agreements, he stressed at the same time.

The 68-year-old leader also condemned what he described as the constant tendency for international actors to blame Russia for wrongdoing, saying it has become a sport.

Comments were made in the final half-hour of the 90-minute speech, which was predominantly focused on Russia’s fight against the coronavirus pandemic and internal economic and social issues.

The speech was based on the worsening tensions with the US and the EU, and follows the recent imposition of sanctions on Russia by the Joe Biden government for alleged cyber attacks, human rights violations and activities in Ukraine.