MOSCOW, September 30. /TASS/. The West had hoped that Russia would collapse back in the 1990s and it still finds the very existence of such a country annoying, Russian President Vladimir Putin said, while speaking at the ceremony of admitting four new territories to Russia on Friday.
"Yes, in 1991 the West expected that Russia would not recover from such shocks and was doomed to fall apart," he said.
"This almost happened. We remember the terrible 1990s, the chilling years of food shortages and hopelessness. But Russia held firm, staged a comeback, regained strength and took a worthy place in the world again."
In the meantime, the West "all the time looked for and it is still looking for chances of dealing a blow on Russia, of bleeding it white and of causing it to collapse," Putin said. "They have always dreamed about that: dismembering our state, setting its peoples against each other and dooming them to poverty and extinction."
"They (the West - TASS) just cannot take it easy there is such a great and huge country in the world with its territory, natural wealth, resources and people who cannot and will not ever live according to someone else's orders," Putin stressed.