Russian President Vladimir Putin issued an ultimatum to his nation’s adversaries during a televised meeting with his senior officials Thursday, saying he will knock the teeth out of anyone who challenges Russian territory.
Putin did not refer to any particular adversary by name, according to the New York Post. Putin and the U.S. have been engaged in an ongoing standoff over Ukraine, however. Russia amassed troops on its border with Ukraine in April.
“In all times, the same thing happened: Once Russia grew stronger, they found pretexts to hamper its development,” Putin said during the meeting. (RELATED: Trump Spent Years Sabotaging Putin’s Nord Stream 2 Dreams. Now Biden Is Helping Them Come True)
“Everyone wants to bite us or bite something off us, but those who would like to do so should know that we would knock their teeth out so that they couldn’t bite,” he continued. “The development of our military is the guarantee of that.”
U.S.-Russia relations have deteriorated quickly since President Joe Biden took office, with the new administration seeking to punish Russia for its role in election-meddling and hacking attacks against private U.S. companies and government agencies. The U.S. and Russia have both recalled their ambassadors from their respective capitals in order to discuss how to move forward with relations.
Putin has made a habit of making threatening statements in recent months, warning Western nations in late April not to cross Russia’s “red line.” Putin made the declaration at his annual state of the union address.
“I hope that no one dares to cross the red line in respect to Russia, and we will determine where it is in each specific case,” Putin said in the speech. “Those who organize any provocations threatening our core security interests will regret their deeds more than they regretted anything for a long time.”
“We really don’t want to burn the bridges,” Putin added. “But if some mistake our good intentions for indifference or weakness and intend to burn or even blow up those bridges themselves, Russia’s response will be asymmetrical, quick and tough.”