Putin says Russia will never yield to foreign pressure

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MOSCOW — President Vladimir Putin says he will not allow anyone to get a military advantage over Russia and pledges that the country will never yield to foreign pressure.

In a tough statement that comes amid tensions with the West over Ukraine, Putin warned Friday that “no one should have any illusions that it’s possible to achieve military superiority over Russia or apply any kind of pressure on it.” He added that the nation’s military would always have an “adequate response.”

The Russian leader vowed that an ambitious military modernization program envisaging the deployment of hundreds of new combat jets, missiles and other weapons would be carried out.

Despite an economic downturn caused by low oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine, Russia’s military budget has risen by one-third this year.

Vladimir Putin, Valentin Gavrilov: Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, presents World War II veteran Valentin Gavrilov with a jubilee medal during the award ceremony in St. George Hall of the Grand Kremlin Palace in Moscow, Friday, Feb. 20, 2015. President Putin awarded World War II veterans with jubilee medals marking the 70th victory anniversary of World War II. © AP Photo/Sergei Ilnitsky, Pool Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, presents World War II veteran Valentin Gavrilov with a jubilee medal during the award ceremony in St. George Hall of the Grand Kremlin Palace in Moscow, Friday, Feb. 20, 2015. President…

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