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Putin on Western sanctions against Russia: 'Every cloud has a silver lining'

Russia "will not tolerate when its interests are either neglected or infringed," the Russian president said

MOSCOW, December 1. /TASS/. "Every cloud has a silver lining," Putin said commenting on Western sanctions against Russia. 

Russia is not willing to oppose any country and does not seek enemies as it needs friends but the country will not tolerate any infringement of its interests, Vladimir Putin said in an annual state-of-the-nation address to the Federal Assembly.

"We do not want any confrontation and we as well as our partners and the world community do not need it," Putin said.

"In contrast to some Western counterparts who see a rival in Russia, we do not look for enemies and has never done so. We need friends. However, we will not tolerate that our interests are either neglected or infringed."

"Everybody has had enough of ‘planted’ information campaigns, of fabricated and injected compromising information and of bossy pedagogery," he said.

"If it is needed, we can give a lesson ourselves but we realize the measure of our responsibility and actually, are eager to take part in solving global and regional crises where our involvement is appropriate, needed and necessary," he said, emphasizing that Russia wants to and will "decide its own destiny on its own and will shape its present and future without tips or unwelcome advice from strangers."

"Nevertheless, we have attuned ourselves to an well-meaning and equal dialogue to endorse the principles of fairness and mutual respect in international affairs. We are ready for a serious conversation on how to construct a balanced system of international relations in the 21st century," Putin said.

Besides, he expressed regret that "dozens of years after the end of the Cold War have been wasted."

"We call for security and that the chance for development should be given not only to the elite, but to all countries and peoples, that international law and global diversity should be respected. We are against any monopoly, in particular, any claims to exclusivity or attempts to adjust the rules of world trade to their liking, to restrict the freedom of expression and in fact, to introduce censorship in the global media space," Putin stressed.