Russian President Vladimir Putin has criticised claims about Russia "unjustly" owning such a vast and resource-rich region as Siberia, saying statements like these are sometimes made in "public speeches". The president did not elaborate on whose speeches he was referring to, but warned about the consequences of taking such a course of action.
"Everyone is attempting to take a bite out us or bite something off us. But they should understand that we are going to kick them in their teeth [if they try to] so hard that they won't be able to bite anymore", the president said.
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Putin added that constant upgrading of the military forces is the key to being able to fulfill this warning.
It is unclear who the president was referring to in his speech about Siberia. Similar words were often ascribed in the Russian media and Russian segment of the internet to former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, but Putin never supported these rumours. There has been no solid evidence proving she ever called Russia's ownership of Siberia's riches "unfair" or "unjust", with Albright herself outright denying ever making such statements.