Russian President Vladimir Putin urged all countries to unite for the struggle against international terrorism, having drawn a parallel with the rise of Nazis before World War II.
"What other lesson do we still need to learn (besides World War II) to cast aside outdated ideological differences and geopolitical games to unite in the fight against international terrorism?" Putin said speaking before State Duma deputies.
"The risk for this common threat to disseminate has been growing before our very eyes," Putin said.
"We need to build a modern, non-aligned, equal for all states system of collective security," he added.
"Russia is open to discuss this important issue and has repeatedly declared its readiness to engage in dialogue, but again, as it was on the eve of the Second World War, we do not see a positive response," the president said.
On June 22, Russia marks the Day of Memory and Grief. The President of Russia and State Duma deputies honored the memory of those killed in the Great Patriotic War by having a moment of silence.
Meanwhile, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) has recently published a voluminous, 100-page report "Security Outlook 2018. Potential Risks and Threats." About a third of the report is dedicated to Russia.
According to estimates of the Canadian intelligence, the Kremlin has not been modernizing its army for "hybrid warfare." Russia prepares for a real (defensive) war, the report said.
The second conclusion says that the hopes for the pressure of sanctions have not justified themselves, as Putin's team remains united and steadfast in its intentions.
Also read: Will there be war with Russia in 2016?
To which extent is the report objective? Why does the Canadian intelligence deviate from the official propaganda line of the West? Pravda.Ru asked these questions to former adviser to the UN Secretary General, member of the UN Committee on the Biological Weapons, military expert Igor Nikulin.
"The West has been trying to drive Russia into a corner, but we can not retreat farther. Russia is already staying in the corner, from which we want to get out. Our so-called Western partners leave us no other choice. They, of course, expect Russia's complete capitulation as it was in 1991, but such a shame will not repeat in our history, I hope. We as a country and as a nation will cease to exist if we surrender to the "fifth column" and other lovers of Western values," Igor Nikulin said in an interview with Pravda.Ru.
The fact that the CSIS did not base its report on statements from the "non-system opposition," but preferred to expose more objective information that came contrary to the official line of the West, seems somewhat alarming. According to Igor Nikulin, the CSIS most likely "coordinates its conclusions with senior departments."
"The government of Canada does not play any significant role in the Western alliance. Ottawa is a US and UK satellite that acts on orders from the curators," the expert said in an interview with Pravda.Ru. Therefore, such a step taken by the Canadian intelligence most likely pursues some hidden agenda.
Russia has learned many lessons from the 1990s, when the country fully trusted its Western well-wishers, and would not make another mistake like that again.
"Agreements with the West are not worth the paper on which they are written," Igor Nikulin told Pravda.Ru. In conclusion, he quoted a phrase from Russian diplomat A.M. Gorchakov: "Russia is concentrating."
Meanwhile, German Chancellor Merkel has recently publicly admitted that she regrets her mistakes. An increasing number of European politicians say that it is time to start establishing normal relations with Russia. Does this mean that the Old World may change its politics in relation to Russia? Pravda.Ru Inna Novikova talked about it to military expert and former head of Israeli intelligence service Nativ, Yakov Kedmi.
"If Merkel is the maximum of what today's Germany can put on the political arena, then I feel sorry for Germany. It means that Germany deserves Mrs. Merkel, who will take the country to new failures and setbacks.
"Yet, the German economy is still strong enough to withstand even Frau Merkel, unlike the Russian economy that could not cope with Mr. Yeltsin. Russia was on the brink of extinction when Yeltsin ended his cadence.
"Even a stronger and more developed state - the Soviet Union - had not been able to stand its president, Nobel Prize winner Mikhail Gorbachev. The Russian Empire could not stand its last emperor and his generals. Today's Russia is a lot stronger, but I would not recommend testing the strength of power."
"The French Senate has recently demanded anti-Russian sanctions should be abolished. Do you think it will have any consequences?"
"The presence, imposition or lifting of sanctions and their shape is not determined in Paris, Berlin or Rome - it is determined in Washington. It depends on what kind of power there will be in Washington and what policies it chooses to pursue. Europe has a very limited degree of independence at this point. European leaders, especially MPs, take certain decisions based on their personal political interests.
In a presidential republic, such as France, it is only the president who can change the French policy. In the United States, Senate or Congress may take any political decisions, but it is up to the US president to determine the policy of the country. One should not build illusions about a possible change in the political course of European countries.
"The reasons that made the Americans impose sanctions on Russia have not disappeared. The purpose of sanctions is to slow down the development of the Russian economy, so that Russia could not afford to maintain a reasonable standard of living of the population, the army. Remember when in the Soviet times the United States passed the Jackson-Vanik amendment that restricted economic relations with the state that prohibited free migration.
Interestingly, the Jackson-Vanik law was never used in relation to China. When the Americans raised the subject in the 1980s, the Chinese asked them how many millions of Chinese migrants the USA would be willing to welcome, and that was the end of the discussion.
The law was never applied to post-Soviet states either, but it was used against Russia, even though there were no restrictions for migration in Russia. This is a simple example of how sanctions serve one particular goal. The sanctions will remain in effect as long as the US policy aims to restrain the economic development of Russia or China. The USA will keep on looking for reasons and technologies to make its European allies support them."
About 95% of Putin's Address to the Federal Assembly was devoted to social issues, but he also spoke about Russia's military power, her state-of-the-art weapons, and did not miss a chance to intimidate the United States.