Moscow Times
April 21, 2021

President Vladimir Putin warned Tuesday of Russia’s “swift” and “severe” response to foreign hostile actions and decried Western sanctions, which he likened to a sporting competition.

“I hope that no one will think of crossing the ‘red line’ in relation to Russia, which we ourselves will define in each specific case,” Putin said in his annual state-of-the-nation speech.

“Russia’s response will be swift, asymmetrical and severe,” Putin warned at Manezh exhibition hall next to the Kremlin.

He accused Western countries of levying “illegal” economic sanctions “to impose their will on others by force.” 

“This is turning into some kind of sport — who can say something negative about Russia the loudest,” said Putin, noting that Moscow behaves “in a restrained and modest manner” in response.

“These days this practice is turning into something much more dangerous,” he warned, citing reports over the weekend that Russian and Belarusian security forces thwarted an alleged attempt to assassinate Belarus’ longtime leader.

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