“…The past year was not an easy one. The world situation has exacerbated. We witnessed growing tensions in the Middle East and a number of other areas of the world, while a state coup provoked civil war in Ukraine.
Russia is making significant efforts to reconcile the parties and normalise the situation. We have already received and continue receiving thousands, even hundreds of thousands of refugees and are doing all we can to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe.
However, our position, our independent policy and even attempts to help those in need, including in Ukraine and some other areas, are causing outright irritation on the part of those we traditionally call our colleagues and partners.
They are using their entire arsenal of means for the so-called deterrence of Russia: from attempts at political isolation and economic pressure to large-scale information war and special services operations. As it was recently stated quite openly: those who disagree will have their arms twisted periodically. However, this does not work with Russia; it never has and never will.
Meanwhile, NATO is developing its rapid deployment forces and building up its infrastructure near our borders. Attempts are being made to violate the existing nuclear parity, European and Asia-Pacific segments of the ABM system are being created at an increased pace.
I would like to remind that the unilateral withdrawal by the United States from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty has toppled the very foundation of the modern international security system. Completely new systems are being developed capable of dealing a ‘lightning global blow’ and conducting operations in outer space.
However, it is obvious that nobody has ever managed to intimidate this country or put pressure on it, and nobody ever will. We have always had and always will have a proper response to all internal and external threats to national security.
Another point I would like to make is that the situation cannot remain like this forever. It will change, for the better I hope, including the situation around this country. However, it will not change for the better if we succumb and yield at every step. It will only change for the better if we become stronger...”