Russian police arrest hundreds of protesters backing Putin's opponent Navalny

Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers his annual state of the nation address at the Federal Assembly at the Manezh Exhibition Hall in Moscow

Putin, who spoke at length about the country's foreign policy in his annual address to the nation, warned Western powers against crossing a "red line".

OVD-Info, a group that monitors protests and detentions, said that almost 300 people had been detained over the rallies in dozens of different places.

SEVERAL DOCTORS HAVE been prevented from seeing Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny in a prison hospital after his three-week hunger strike.

Putin added, Russian Federation wants to have good relations with all countries in the world, but it won't cave to intimidation.

A team of doctors that visited the prison where he is being held on Tuesday was again denied access after being kept waiting for hours, in "a clear threat to the life and health of Alexei", they said in a Twitter post.

"But I hope that no one will think of crossing the so-called red line in relation to Russian Federation. And where it will be - we will determine that ourselves", Putin said.

The remarks came Wednesday during his annual state-of-the-nation speech, delivered to top officials and both houses of the Russian parliament, and Putin also said Russia is striving for good relations with other countries.

Putin's government is already a major focus of USA foreign policy.

He vowed that Russian Federation, one of the world's major producers of oil and gas, would do its part to fight climate change, setting a target for the country's emissions to be "less than in the European Union".

Putin's popularity has always been based on his ability to provide stability and better living standards to Russians, but the economy has in recent years been hit by Western sanctions, stagnant oil prices and now the coronavirus pandemic.

Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers his annual state of the nation address at The Federal Assembly at The Manezh Exhibition Hall in Moscow
Vladimir Putin lauds Russia’s vaccine work

He announced new lump-sum payments to families and expectant mothers, as well as a 10,000 ruble ($130) payment for all schoolchildren in mid-August.

Putin has denied playing a role in Navalny's 2020 poisoning, while President Joe Biden - who has called the Russian president a "killer" - said earlier this year he had "raised concern" with Putin over Navalny.

Security forces had issued a warning against taking part in "illegal gatherings" and appeared to be moving quickly to deter protesters.

"His arms are all blue with the shots", the lawyer said.

Navalny's team said on Twitter on Tuesday that police were searching their offices in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk and had detained their coordinator in the Urals city of Kurgan.

Navalny went on a hunger strike over what he said was the refusal of the prison holding him to provide him with proper treatment for leg and back pain.

Navalny was arrested in January upon his return from Germany, where he had spent five months convalescing from a nerve agent poisoning he blames on the Kremlin - an accusation Russian officials have rejected.

Almost three weeks into the hunger strike, his doctors over the weekend warned that Navalny's health was failing so rapidly he could die at "any minute", as the United States threatened Russian Federation with "consequences" in the event of his death.

Navalny was transferred on Sunday from a penal colony east of Moscow to a prison hospital in Vladimir, a city 180 kilometres east of the capital, after his lawyers and associates said his condition had dramatically worsened.

During his speech last year, Putin set out a series of constitutional reforms that were eventually approved in a referendum and reset presidential terms so he could run twice more after the end of his current six-year term.

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