According to Russian President Vladimir Putin, imperfections of the country's economic and political system and keen competition in the world economy have the state facing serious threats.
"We are facing serious threats. Although our economic foundation is more solid than before, its is still unsteady and too weak. The political system is underdeveloped. The state machinery is ineffective. The majority of the branches of economy are non-competitive," the president said in his annual State of the Nation address.
He also pointed out to the diminishing population and the "exceedingly slow way with which poverty recedes." "Certain accomplishments of the recent years allowed us to talk about stabilization. Some even felt all our problems were solved and Russia's future was successful and predictable. The only question is whether our economy must grow 4 or 6 percent a year and how much can we spend," he said.
According to Putin, a country like Russia is only able to live and develop within its boundaries when it is a mighty power.
"We are surrounded by countries with highly developed economies. They squeeze Russia out of promising world markets whenever they can, while their visible economic advantages give rise to swelling geopolitical ambitions. Nuclear weapons keep spreading all over the world. Terrorism threatens the peace and safety of our citizens," stressed the president. "Strong and well-equipped national armies are used not to combat this evil, but to expand the zones of strategic influence of each several state."
The Kremlin believes that new possible sanctions against Russia may lead to disastrous consequences, as Washington's actions will come contrary to the generally accepted rules of international trade