Regarding the relations between the West and Russia, Putin said: "They [the West] will always try to chain the bear".
“No matter what we do, we are always met with problems, opposition, and fights with us…Do you think that if our bear sits quietly and stops chasing piglets around the taiga, then they’ll leave him alone? They won’t. They will always try to put [the bear] on a chain,” Putin said.
Relations between Russia and the West worsened amid the escalation of the Ukrainian crisis. Russia’s Western partners kept blaming Moscow for meddling in Ukraine’s internal affairs – a claim that Kremlin has repeatedly denied. In response to what the West called Russia’s aggressive policy toward Ukraine, the United States, the European Union and their allies have imposed several rounds of sanctions against Moscow, which Kremlin has called “illegal”.
Moscow criticized its Western partners for their one-sided view on the Ukrainian crisis, urging the United States and European Union to take into account the interests of all parties involved, including citizens of the southeastern regions of Ukraine, instead of blindly supporting every move the Kiev authorities make.
Moscow has repeatedly said that it was important to establish a multipolar system of international relations, based on respect for mutual interests and effective work, which would benefit the entire international community.
NATO suspended all military cooperation with Moscow following Crimea's reunification with Russia in March. The alliance has since blamed Russia for interfering in the conflict in Ukraine's southeast by sending troops and military equipment.
Moscow has repeatedly denied any involvement in Ukraine's internal affairs and urged the conflicting sides to engage in dialogue in order to find a peaceful resolution to the conflict.
This is the tenth annual press conference held by the Russian president. Annual press conferences with the Russian president are held every December, the sessions normally last up to several hours. During these sessions, the President answers uncensored questions from journalists and reflects on the outgoing year. There are no restrictions on the questions journalists can ask the Russian president and no time limits.