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Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers his annual address to the Federal Assembly in Moscow on April 21, 2021.
Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers his annual address to the Federal Assembly in Moscow on April 21, 2021.

Live Blog: Putin's Annual State-Of-The-Nation Address As It Happened

Follow as our team of Russia experts monitored the speech, highlighted the news, and offered personal takes on Putin's remarks.

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin used his 17th annual state-of-the-nation address to a joint session of the Russian parliament to issue threats against what he called foreign provocations, vowing amid several widening rifts with the West that Moscow would respond in a harsh and swift way.
  • Putin said that Moscow strived to have good relations with other countries, but warned no foreign state should cross Russia's "red lines" without elaborating. "Anyone who stages any provocations that threaten our safety will regret it in a way they've never regretted anything before," Putin said.
  • At the start of his address, Putin focused on the COVID-19 pandemic, which has hit Russia hard. Putin said that Russians should attain collective immunity from COVID-19 by this autumn and urged all citizens to get vaccinated against the coronavirus.
  • Read our news summary here.

*Time stamps on the blog refer to local time in Moscow.

13:20 21.4.2021

Says Russia is always open to broad international cooperation, particularly under the umbrella of the United Nations. Claims Russia has done a lot to resolve regional conflicts from Syria to Nagorno-Karabakh.

13:19 21.4.2021

Turns attention to the military, saying that modernization is proceeding constantly. Says the army is now about three-quarters equipped with modern weaponry. Says the nuclear triad is being rapidly modernized. Says the new Sarmat ICBM will be online by the end of 2022. Says the Kinzhal hypersonic missile is also on schedule. But adds that Russia is calling on all countries to participate in arms-control talks. Says Russia is willing to discuss all offensive and defensive systems.

13:16 21.4.2021

Says Russia wants good relations even with countries with whom relations now are strained. But warns that if Russia's "good intentions" are abused, Russia will respond quickly and asymmetrically. Adds that Russia has enough patience, professionalism, and confidence to manage its international affairs.

13:14 21.4.2021

Claims that "unfriendly acts" against Russia are continuing, "without any reason." Says attacking Russia has become some sort of "new sport" in the West. "We want to have good relations with every member of the international community," he says.

13:13 21.4.2021

Russian state TV has in recent days been constantly peddling the idea that the U.S. sponsored an assassination attempt against Alyaksandr Lukashenka in Belarus. Now it's clear why: Putin just cited it as fact. "This has crossed all boundaries," he says.

A bad omen.

13:12 21.4.2021

Claims that Western countries have ignored Russia's "repeated calls" for a discussion on cybersecurity.

13:11 21.4.2021

Says that "unfortunately" some in the international community have become used to "illegal sanctions" and trying to force their will on other countries. Talks about alleged outside instigation of unrest in Belarus and supposed attempt to assassinate Belarusian leader Lukashenka. Says former Ukrainian President Yanukovych was driven out by a coup instigated from the outside.

13:10 21.4.2021

Now begins talking "in conclusion" about the international situation. "Russia has its interests" and will defend them within the framework of international law, he says.

13:09 21.4.2021

"Russia is a hospitable country that is open to our real friends," he says, noting the recent World Cup. Mentions "electronic visas."

13:08 21.4.2021

Begins talking about rebuilding the tourism sector, mentions several "pilot projects" from Kaliningrad to Altai.

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