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Putin Says Russia Must Respond To 'Aggressive' Western Actions, Rhetoric

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks at the final plenary session of the current State Duma, Moscow, on June 22.

President Vladimir Putin told Russia's State Duma on June 22 that the country "must think about its own security" when confronted by what he called "NATO's aggressive actions near Russia's borders."

Putin told lawmakers at the final plenary session of the current State Duma that Russian officials have a "duty to give special attention to resolving tasks associated with increasing the defense potential" of the country in response to what he called NATO "aggression" and "aggressive rhetoric."

Putin also said that the world should confront international terrorism by creating what he described as a security system that transcends existing alliances.

He said Russia is "ready for dialogue" on creating such a security system.

Putin praised lawmakers in the lower chamber of parliament for supporting Russia's 2014 annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region.

Although June 22 is the final plenary session for the 6th State Duma, the five-year term of office for deputies formally ends in September.

Legislative elections in Russia, originally planned for December 4, have been brought forward to September 18 with all 450 seats in the State Duma at stake.

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