President Vladimir Putin told budding geography students that Russia’s borders ‘don’t end anywhere’.
Putin was speaking at a televised awards ceremony held by the Russian Geographical Society amid growing tensions with the West and NATO.
On stage Putin questioned Miroslav Oskirko, a nine-year-old prodigy who said he knew the borders of every country in the world.
President Vladimir Putin told budding geography students that Russia’s borders ‘don’t end anywhere’
Putin was speaking at a televised awards ceremony held by the Russian Geographical Society amid growing tensions with the West and NATO
Putin asked the boy where Russia’s borders ended, with Oskirko saying ‘Russia’s borders end at the Bering Strait with the United States’.
Hugging the boy by the shoulder, Putin corrected him: ‘Russia’s borders don’t end anywhere,’ before adding: ‘That is a joke.’
His remarks prompted laughter in the audience, which included Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, who heads the geographical society.
‘An update from Putin: Russia’s borders don’t end anywhere!’ wrote Interfax news agency on Twitter.
‘Are we talking about culture here or the S-400?’ Twitter user Dmitry Kasatkin wrote, referring to Russia’s most sophisticated air defence system, which has been deployed to Syria.
Russia seized Crimea from Ukraine in March 2014 by sending in thousands of special forces to take control of Ukrainian bases and holding a hastily organised referendum that was rejected by the international community.
Three months later he spelled out his doctrine, saying: ‘I would like to make it clear to all: our country will continue to actively defend the rights of Russians, our compatriots abroad, using the entire range of available means – from political and economic to operations under international humanitarian law and the right of self-defence,’ according to the BBC.
The ex-Soviet republic of Georgia last year accused Moscow of ‘creeping annexation’ of its territory after Russian border guards moved border markers deeper into Tbilisi-controlled territory.
Tags: creeping annexation, Europe, Georgia, Miroslav Oskirko, NATO, President Vladimir Putin, Putin, Putin tells schoolchildren that 'Russia's borders don't end anywhere', Russia, Russia's borders 'don't end anywhere', Russian Geographical Society, Russian pride, S-400, Ukraine