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Putin issues warning to the West for ‘picking on Russia’ – ‘crossing a red line’

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The 68-year-old Russian President addressed the nation in Moscow during his annual state-of-the-union address on Wednesday. The president declared that Moscow will always respond to enemy provocations and condemned the West for “picking on Russia for no reason.”

He said: “I hope that no one will think of crossing a red line with Russia. And we will decide ourselves where it will be.

“Russia’s response will be symmetrical, fast and tough.

“The organizers of any provocations threatening our core security interests will regret their actions more than they’ve regretted anything in a long time.”

The warning comes as several Russian cities descend into chaos amid protests against Mr Putin in support of the president’s jailed political rival, Alexi Navalny.

Around 1,500 people have already been arrested across the state as protesters continue to defy coronavirus restrictions.

Mr Navalny is currently on hunger strike according to OVD-Info, a group that monitors detentions and protests, and doctors have warned that he “could die at any moment.”

Mr Putin’s national address on Wednesday covered a wide range of topics including the economy, defence, environment and taxation.

Putin’s “red line” threat comes a day after more than 20 Russian vessels staged a joint military exercise with air force fighter jets in the Black Sea.

READ MORE: Russia war threat: Putin’s 120,000 troops can paralyse neighbour

“In some countries, they have started an obscene custom of blaming Russia for anything. It’s some kind of sport – a new kind of sport.”

He continued to say that Russia wants “good relations” with other nations but warned that any attempt to “burn down or even blow up bridges,” will be met by an “asymmetrical, swift and harsh,” Russian response.



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