Those who organize provocations against Russia will come to regret it as they have regretted little else, warned Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday.
Addressing the Federal Assembly, Putin said "the meaning and content" of Russia's policy in the international arena is "to ensure peace and security for the well-being of our citizens, for the stable development of the country."
But he added pointedly: "Russia has its own interests, which we defend and will stand for within the framework of international law, as do other states of the world. And if someone refuses to understand this obvious thing, does not want to conduct dialogue, chooses a selfish and arrogant tone, Russia will always find a way to defend its position."
Putin’s remarks came as Western powers raised alarms over some 150,000 Russian troops amassing at Ukraine’s eastern borders, some six years after annexing the country’s Crimean peninsula, a move Russia is still sanctioned for.
In the modern world, Putin argued, everyone "got used to the practice of politically motivated, illegal sanctions, rough attempts to force will on others."
And now such practices are “being reborn into something more dangerous," he said – the practice of organizing state coups and political assassinations.
"However, even such blatant actions are not met with disapproval in the so-called collective West. No one notices it, everyone pretends that nothing is happening at all."