MOSCOW, March 18. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that Russia would respond toughly to provocative statements, but will not seek for confrontation with partners in the East and in the West.
“Western politicians threaten us not only by sanctions, but also deterioration of domestic problems. I would like to know what they mean: actions of certain fifth column by different nationalistic traitors or hope to worsen socio-economic situation in Russia and provoke indignation of people this way? We take such statements as irresponsible and evidently aggressive and will respond properly to them,” Putin said, delivering a special address to deputies of State Duma lower house of parliament, members of Federation Council upper house, chief executives in regions and representatives of civil society over reunification of the Republic of Crimea with Russia and formation of new constituent entities in Russia.
“Meanwhile, we will never seek confrontation with our partners in the East or in the West,” Putin noted. “On the contrary, we will do everything to build civilized good neighborly relations as this is usual in modern world,” he pledged.
“We will evidently face external counteraction,” Putin warned. However, Putin said with confidence, “We should decide ourselves whether we will protect consistently our national interests or will sacrifice them forever.”