Putin warns towards crossing Russia’s “pink traces”, says the army

Russian President Vladimir Putin will attend the expanded ministries of interior in Moscow on February 26, 2020.

Mikhail Svetlov | Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin warned against provoking his country in his annual state of the nation speech on Wednesday and promised swift retaliation against anyone who crossed “red lines”.

Moscow will react “harshly”, “quickly” and “asymmetrically” to foreign provocations, Putin told an audience of top Russian officials and lawmakers, adding that he “hoped” that no foreign actor would cross Russia’s “red lines”, according to Reuters would exceed translation.

Putin also extolled the country’s planned investment in advanced military training, hypersonic weapons and ICBMs. But Russia wants peace and arms control agreements, he emphasized at the same time.

The 68-year-old head of state also condemned the constant tendency of international actors to blame Russia for wrongdoing, saying it has become like a sport.

The comments came in the last half-hour of the 90-minute speech, which mainly focused on Russia’s fight against the coronavirus pandemic, as well as domestic economic and social problems.

The speech took place against the background of worsening tensions with the US and the EU and follows the recent sanctions against Russia by the Joe Biden administration for alleged cyber attacks, human rights abuses and activities in Ukraine.

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