Russian President Vladimir Putin gives his annual state of the nation address in Manezh, Moscow, Russia, April 21, 2021. (ALEXANDER ZEMLIANICHENKO/POOL/AP)
MOSCOW – No countries should cross Moscow-set “red lines” in relations with Russia, which will resolutely protect its national interests, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday in his annual address to the Federal Assembly.
“The world has become accustomed to illegal sanctions and rude attempts by some countries to impose their will on others,” Putin said.
The world has become accustomed to illegal sanctions and rude attempts by some countries to impose their will on others.
Vladimir Putin, Russian president
“Russia has its interests, which it will defend in the framework of international law,” he added.
Putin stressed that Russia does not want to “burn bridges” with anyone but will act fast and respond symmetrically when necessary.
“At the same time, we will have enough patience, responsibility, professionalism, self-confidence and common sense when making any decision,” he said.
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In this year’s speech to lawmakers and government officials, Putin focused primarily on domestic affairs, including pandemic control, health care and social policies. He also addressed defense and foreign policy issues.
On defense, Putin said Russia is continuously strengthening its armed forces by modernizing weaponry.
The share of modern weapons and equipment is expected to reach 76 percent by 2024, and this share in Russia’s nuclear triad will exceed 88 percent this year, Putin said.
The first regiment fully armed with the Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missiles will become operational by the end of 2022, and the Tsirkon hypersonic cruise missiles will be combat-ready in the near future, he said.
The Avangard intercontinental hypersonic missiles and laser combat systems have already been put on duty, he noted.
Putin highlighted the importance of global cooperation in ensuring strategic stability and invited major countries to discussions on issues regarding strategic weapons.
“The subject of such negotiations would be the establishment of a mechanism of conflict-free coexistence based on a security equation,” he said.
In his speech, Putin urged all citizens to get vaccinated and predicted that Russia would achieve collective immunity by the autumn.
On the eve of an online climate summit to be hosted by US President Joe Biden, Putin also called for tougher “polluter pays” rules and set a goal for Russia to cut its greenhouse gas emissions below those of the European Union in the next 30 years.
With inputs from Agencies