Correspondent in Moscow
The Russian President, Vladimir Putin, today delivered the annual address to Parliament and the Government for one hour and twenty minutes, the shortest of the 17 habidos since he came to power in 2000. Unlike other years, this time he announced nothing sensational. He focused his speech on social issues, still unresolved after more than 20 years in power, and, despite the prevailing conflict situation in relation to the West and neighboring Ukraine, he dedicated very few words to these tensions, which are still latent. unequivocally.
“Messing with Russia has become a new sport (…) they practice it here and there for no reason to justify it,” Putin said to the personalities present in the great hall of the Manezh building, located next to the west wall. of the Kremlin. “But often we do not go in to respond to these hostile actions and the most absolute rudeness that they perpetrate, ”he continued, referring to the United States, the European Union, NATO, Ukraine and the countries with which he has been exchanging diplomatic expulsions for days.
Quoting ‘The Jungle Book’ by the English writer, Rudyard Kipling, the Russian president suggested that such actions are carried out by small and abhorrent characters, such as the jackal Tabaqui, in reference to the Europeans, who “haunt the tiger Shere Khan ( USA). As in Kipling’s tale, they howl to appease their sovereign. “
Putin then said: “I hope that no one comes up with the idea of crossing the red line in relation to Russia. And where that line passes we will determine ourselves ». He warned that any threat to Russia’s security will receive an “asymmetric, swift and severe” response. In clear allusion to Ukraine and his allies, the top Russian leader warned that “all the organizers of any provocation will regret it as they have not regretted anything for a long time.”
He also criticized the West for its indifferent attitude to the alleged coup recently orchestrated against the Belarusian president, Alexander Lukashenko. In his opinion, “we may have different attitudes towards Lukashenko, but planning his murder is already too much.” “And everyone wants to believe that absolutely nothing has happened,” Putin said indignantly. «What would have happened if the coup attempt had been successful? How many people would have suffered the consequences? ”Asked the head of the Kremlin.
On Saturday, Lukashenko claimed to have dismantled an attempted “coup” and his “assassination”, that, apparently, he also had his family as a target and that it had been organized, according to him, by the United States. Two Belarusians with American nationality were arrested in Moscow in a joint operation by the Russian and Belarusian secret services.