Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, delivered his annual state of the nation address on Thursday, in which he called for international cooperation, but emphasized that the nation would “not tolerate that our interests are either neglected or infringed.”
Tensions have been high between the Russian Federation and Western powers in recent months, due in large part to military operations in Syria. Russia’s relationship with the United States has been particularly strained, with the US backing out of bilateral talks with Putin’s government regarding the ongoing Syrian war and Russia announcing that they would no longer honor a decades old nuclear agreement made between the two nations that called for the destruction of stockpiles of plutonium that may be used in the development of nuclear warheads. The announcement was made on the heels of another nuclear revelation out of Moscow: the unveiling of the Kremlin’s newest line of Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles, the Satan II, touted as being able to destroy a land mass the size of “Texas or France” with a single nuke.
Many hope that President Elect Donald Trump’s stance regarding increased cooperation with the Russian state will lead to a reduction in military posturing before tensions lead to a second cold war. Still others argue that the second cold war may have already begun. Putin tried to assuage those fears by stating that Russia is not seeking increased hostilities with other nations.
“Unlike some foreign colleagues who see Russia as the enemy, we do not seek – and never sought – enemies. We need friends,” he said in his address.