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Russland Präsident Putin Rede zur Lage der Nation
Image: Reuters/S. Karpukhin

Putin: Turkey 'will feel sorry'

Elizabeth Schumacher
December 3, 2015

President Putin gave his yearly address to parliament, promising revenge for a jet shot down by Turkey. He called for more international cooperation against terrorism, decrying empty "declarations" of solidarity.


Russian President Vladimir Putin addressed the members of the Federal Assembly and State Duma on Thursday in his annual speech to lawmakers on the state of the nation.

Before he began his speech, Putin spoke directly to two widows of Russian soldiers who died in the country's campaign in Syria. He thanked them for their sacrifice and reminded lawmakers that they were not just supporting their ally, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and the "legitimate government of Syria" but "fighting for our entire civilization."

In an apparent slight to other nations not directly engaged in the fight against "Islamic State" (IS) terrorists, Putin said they should be aware of "historical parallels" such as those who gave in to Nazism. He called for a broad international coalition, saying "we don't need declarations, we need specific actions."

Money from Turkey goes to attacks in Paris, Mali

The Russian president then turned his attention to Turkey. Relations between the countries are at a new low amid Russian allegations that Turkey partially finances IS by buying the militants' black-market oil.

"We know who it is who profits in Turkey" from terrorists' oil, said Putin, adding that "IS" could then use the money from Turkey "to finance attacks in Paris and Mali."

Turkey dismissed the charges as "Soviet propaganda" on Thursday.

Putin said it was "the ruling elite" in Turkey who had committed the "betrayal" of shooting down a Russian warplane and supporting IS, not the Turkish people.

"I guess Allah decided to punish the ruling clique in Turkey by stripping them of their sanity," he declared, before promising harsher economic sanctions than those already put into place in after the plane was shot down.

"We will remind them not once about what they have done, and they will feel sorry about it more than once," Putin continued.

"However, we will not engage in saber-rattling," he said, immediately after mentioning that their army was already mobilized in the Middle East.

'Economic challenges'

Putin concluded his speech by calling out corruption within Russia and reflecting on the "economic challenges" the country is facing, such as no "access to international borrowing markets", without mentioning some of the background for those challenges - namely, Western sanctions over Russia's presence in the Crimean peninsula.

The situation is "difficult, but not critical" he told lawmakers towards the end of a speech steeped in themes of terrorism and patriotism.

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