Vladimir Putin says Russia's borders 'do not end anywhere'

The comment comes amid rising tensions between Russia and Nato 

Tom Embury-Dennis@tomemburyd
Friday 25 November 2016 15:06
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Putin jokes that 'Russian borders don't end'.

Vladimir Putin has said Russia’s borders “do not end anywhere” during a live televised awards ceremony for students in Moscow.

On stage, the Russian president asked a nine-year-old boy: “Where does Russia’s border end?” The child answered “at the Bering Strait with the United States”.

Mr Putin then gave his own answer, adding "it was a joke” to applause and laughter from the audience.

The phrase “Russia’s borders” became a top trend on Twitter within minutes.

Ukraine’s ambassador to Finland responded on social media, writing “Russia’s border ends nowhere” alongside an image of a ruined log cabin.

The event was put on by the Russian geographical society, which is headed by Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu.

In July 2014, Mr Putin promised to defend ethnic Russians wherever they lived during a speech to Foreign Ministry employees.

"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."

The Russian president’s latest comments come amid rising tensions with Europe.

Russian parliament bursts into applause upon announcement of US election result

The EU has just approved a resolution to fight Russian “propaganda warfare”, while Moscow is moving missiles closer to Europe over “concern” about Nato expansion.

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