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MOSCOW – President Vladimir Putin has vowed that Russia will stand firm in the face of what he described as Western attempts to isolate the country politically and pressurize its economy.
Speaking Thursday before officials of the Federal Security Service, Putin said Moscow has no intention to "make concessions or bend down" and that "no one has succeeded in scaring or pressuring our country, and no one will."
Russia, he added, will respond to any threats.
Russia's relations with the West have deteriorated to levels unmatched since the end of the Cold War around a quarter of a century ago over the Ukrainian crisis. The United States and the European Union have slapped economic sanctions against Russia over its annexation of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula and support for insurgents in eastern Ukraine.