Putin promises ‘asymmetrical’ response to any threats made against Russia, promises those provoking Moscow will come to regret it

Wednesday - 21/04/2021 09:33
Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers his annual address to the Federal Assembly, including lawmakers of the State Duma, members of the Federation Council, regional governors and other officials, in Moscow, Russia. © Sputnik / Sergey Guneev
Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers his annual address to the Federal Assembly, including lawmakers of the State Duma, members of the Federation Council, regional governors and other officials, in Moscow, Russia. © Sputnik / Sergey Guneev
Russian President Vladimir Putin has given a stern warning to anyone threatening the national security of Russia, telling officials that those responsible will “regret their actions like they have never regretted anything before.”

Speaking to gathered politicians and state officials in Moscow on Wednesday during his annual address, Putin noted that the Kremlin wants to maintain good relations with all nations, including those with whom relations have been fractured in recent years. However, Putin lamented that some countries have made a habit of “picking on” Russia for no reason.

“We don't want to burn bridges. But, if someone sees our good intentions as indifference or weakness, and they want to burn the bridges, or even blow up the bridges, they should remember this: Russia's response will be asymmetric, swift, and tough,” he said.

Putin did not, however, go into details. Historically, Russia has always responded tit-for-tat to any foreign actions against Moscow, including sanctions and other economic measures. The Kremlin broke from that tradition this week, when it expelled 20 Czech diplomats in response to Prague kicking out just 18 Russians.

The president also took aim at what he called “the organizers of any provocations,” noting that anyone who threatens the “fundamental security interests” of Russia would “regret their actions like they have never regretted anything for before.”

Putin also claimed that Russia acts “modestly” in the face of foreign “unfriendly actions” and “outright rudeness.”

“Some countries have made it a habit of picking on Russia. It's like a sporting competition for them,” he said. “A new kind of sport. Who is going to be the loudest speaking against Russia.”

In conclusion, Putin warned foreign leaders not to “cross the red line” in relations with Moscow – noting that the Kremlin would be the one to set the line.

In recent weeks, the relationship between Russia and the West has begun to deteriorate. Earlier this month, US President Joe Biden signed an executive order imposing sanctions, in response to Moscow's alleged cyber hacks and interference in the 2020 US election.

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