Vladimir Putin has given a stark warning to anyone who threatens to provoke Russia, saying they will 'come to regret it'.
The Russian President said those responsible for threats will “regret their actions like they have never regretted anything before," in a speech to politicians and state officials on Wednesday.
During his annual address, he noted the Kremlin wants to maintain good relations with all nations, including those whose relationship may have broken in recent years.
However, he said some countries have made a habit of 'picking on' Russia without good reason, writes RT.
He said: "We don't want to burn bridges.
"But, if someone sees our good intentions as indifference or weakness, and they want to burn the bridges, or even blow up the bridges, they should remember this: Russia's response will be asymmetric, swift, and tough.”
He did not go into details, but Russia has responded to foreign sanctions against Moscow before, including implementing sanctions and other measures.
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The president also took a shot at what he called “the organizers of any provocations,” saying anyone who threatens the “fundamental security interests” of Russia would “regret their actions like they have never regretted anything for before.”
Putin also claimed that Russia acts “modestly” in the face of foreign “unfriendly actions” and “outright rudeness.”
He added: “Some countries have made it a habit of picking on Russia. It's like a sporting competition for them.
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“A new kind of sport. Who is going to be the loudest speaking against Russia.”
He warned foreign leaders that the Kremlin would be the one to 'set the line' and they should not cross it.
Tensions have been escalating in recent weeks with Russia's relationship with the West deteriorating after troops were sent to the frontline near Ukraine.
US President Joe Biden signed an executive order imposing sanctions in response to Moscow's alleged cyberattacks during the 2020 US election.
It comes as UK troops could head to Ukraine to join forces from the US and other nations amid fears of a Russian invasion.
According to sources, 450 Paras are poised to drop into eastern Europe should the crisis worsen, and could arrive within '36 hours'.
Around 100,000 troops have amassed along the border, and warships are heading to the Caspian Sea.
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