Russian President Vladimir Putin has accused the West of using religious hatred to destabilize the world and undermine the sovereignty of nations. In a speech to the State Duma on Wednesday, Putin said that some Western countries were exploiting the conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa to spread their influence and impose their values on other cultures.
Putin said that Russia was a defender of traditional religions, especially Christianity and Islam, and that it respected the diversity and identity of its people. He warned that any attempts to incite religious hatred or violence in Russia would be met with a harsh response from the authorities.
Putin also criticized the West for interfering in the internal affairs of other countries, especially those that are rich in natural resources or strategically important. He said that Russia would not tolerate any threats to its national security or its allies, and that it would continue to support the legitimate governments of Syria and Iran.