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Sanctioned TV Anchor Tells Putin He Feels 'Suffocated' by NATO

Dmitry Kiselyov, the state television host known for his harsh statements attacking the West, told President Vladimir Putin that he feels like he is being "suffocated" by NATO.

"I feel like the country is in a ring," Kiselyov told Putin during the president's annual televised call-in show. "I have this feeling of suffocation. It seems like it's NATO."

Kiselyov is among the Russians hit by European Union sanctions passed in response to Russia's annexation of Crimea. He was included on the list for his role in Russian propaganda related to Ukraine.

Putin told Kiselyov that all countries have the right to take steps they think are necessary to defend themselves but that Russia also has the right to take steps it feels are necessary in response.

Baltic Sea nations Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, which border Russia's northwest, joined NATO in 2004. They have said they are concerned about the threat posed by Russia given its aggressive behavior in Ukraine, and NATO has increased policing flights over the countries as a result.

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Kiselyov said he thought Russia was being suffocated by NATO. In fact, he said that he felt he was being suffocated by NATO.

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