Putin warns of Western attempts to ‘shackle’ Russia
President Vladimir Putin has warned of attempts by the West to ‘shackle’ Russia, calling on the Federal Security Services (FSB) to be on guard against Western threats.
According to reports, the Russian president made the remarks on Wednesday during his annual address to the domestic intelligence agency.
The European Union and the United States plan to impose new sanctions against Moscow over the case of opposition figure Alexei Navalny.
Putin told the FSB that the West was “trying to shackle us with economic and other sanctions.”
“We are faced with the so-called policy of containing Russia.”
“This is not about competition... but about a consistent and very aggressive line aimed at disrupting our development, slowing it down, creating problems along our borders,” Putin said.
The West, he added, is employing tools “from the arsenal of the special services.”
Internal instability is what the Western governments seek to provoke in order to “undermine the values that unite Russian society and ultimately weaken Russia and bring it under external control,” Putin stated.
Earlier this month, the Russian president said Western powers were exploiting the case of Navalny to “contain” Moscow.
Navalny is serving a prison sentence after the Moscow City Court sentenced him on February 2 to two years and eight months in a prison colony for breaking the terms of his suspended sentence, subtracting the 10 months he had spent under house arrest from his original three-and-a-half-year sentence.
Navalny received a suspended three-and-a-half-year term over a theft case on December 30, 2014.
His five-year probation period expired on January 2 while he was in Germany.
On Monday, the European Union agreed to impose sanctions on four Russian officials over the jailing of Navalny.
In his Wednesday’s speech, Putin urged the FSB to make the Western threat a priority in its work this year along with its primary task of countering terrorism.
"The suppression of any attempts from the outside to usurp the right of the people of Russia to determine their future should also be in your field of attention.”