Vladimir Putin has said Russia's borders "do not end anywhere" during a live televised awards ceremony for students in Moscow.
On stage, the Russian president asked a nine-year-old boy: "Where does Russia's border end?" The child answered "at the Bering Strait with the United States".
Mr Putin then gave his own answer, adding "it was a joke" to applause and laughter from the audience.
The event was put on by the Russian Geographical Society, which is headed by Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu.The phrase "Russia's borders" became a top trend on Twitter within minutes.
Commonspace.eu political editor said that for people in the countries bordering Russia Putin's choice of words were not a joke at all, but a statement of fact. In countries like Georgia and Ukraine that have seen their borders violated by Russian aggression Putin was not joking when he expressed disdain for borders and the territorial integrity of countries, but was stating the policy that his government had pursued for years.
source; commonspace.eu with agencies
photo: Preisdent Putin with with a young contestant of a TV show hosted by the Russian Georgaphical Society
"As expected the declaration from the 5th Eastern Partnership summit did not change in any significant way the approach of the EU to the eastern neighbourhood. However the declaration has something for everybody, and there are interesting nuances in the text that can form the basis in the future for the next steps in the EU's engagement with the region", commonspace.eu political editor said in a comment.
Getting the Eastern Neighbourhood right is a key necessity for the future security and prosperity of Europe. The Brussels summit offers an opportunity for important steps on this matter in the right direction – not as an end in themselves but rather as a part of a longer term and more ambitious vision.