Putin Tells Valdai Discussion Club Goal Is Creation of ‘New World’
13:55 GMT 05.10.2023 (Updated: 18:42 GMT 05.10.2023)
Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses the plenary session of the 20th meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi.
Serious changes happened in the world over the past 20 years, when the world order changes, time seems to shrink, Putin stated.
Western prosperity has largely been achieved by robbing the entire planet
and endless expansion, the president stressed.
Putin said it should be obvious that the attempt by stronger countries to impose their interests on others
is unacceptable, but this is not happening.
The president emphasized that Russia is capable of making a huge contribution to the new world order, but its readiness was misinterpreted as obedience. No one wanted to hear Russia because the West is too arrogant
, Putin stressed.
The Ukrainian crisis is not a territorial conflict, Russia has no interest in conquering any territories
, Putin stated. Furthermore, Russia did not start the Ukraine conflict
, on the contrary, its goal is to end the conflict
, the president stated.
"We did not start the so-called war in Ukraine, on the contrary, we are trying to end it," Putin emphasized
The president added that it was not Russia that was threatening Donbass with bombings, intimidated Crimea for nearly a decade, used tanks and killed people, but Ukraine.
"A lasting peace will only be established when everyone feels safe, understand that their opinions are respected and that there is a balance in the world, when no one is able to force others to live and behave as the hegemon pleases," Putin said.
A part of Western elite always needs an enemy, Putin said.
Role of Non-Western World
The president expressed appreciation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi who managed to depoliticize the decisions made at the G20 summit
, balancing diverse interests of the grouping's members.
"The prime minister succeeded in depoliticizing the decisions made at the G20 and this is the only right approach," Putin said, adding that the Indian leadership managed to balance interests of various countries, including in the final declaration.
The president added that "the politicization of G20 is a recipe for its self-destruction, but the Indian leadership managed to avoid it, which is definitely a success."
Putin also noted that the attempts to turn India away from Russia are pointless, as India is a truly independent country.
“The Indian leadership, I want to say, is independent, very nationally oriented and I think that these attempts [to tear India away from Russia] do not make any sense, but nevertheless they persist,” Putin said.
The role of India, Brazil, and South Africa
should rise on world stage, their views should be respected, the president stated.
The Russia-China cooperation
not directed against anyone, it is constructive in nature, Putin emphasized.
BRICS Needs Transactions in National Currencies, Not Common Currency
BRICS needs a well-functioning national currency settlement system
and financial logistics, not one common currency, the president noted.
"As for BRICS, we need not to create a common currency, but to establish a system of settlements, create financial logistics in order to ensure settlement between our states in national currencies, taking into account the situation with our national currencies and the macroeconomic performance of our economies as well as currency rate differences and processes of inflation. It is a tough but manageable situation. We need to work on this," Putin clarified.
The issue of creating one common BRICS currency has been discussed with experts and is theoretically possible, the president added.
"In order to achieve it some day, we need to reach a certain parity in the development of our national economies. It is a very long-term perspective... The eurozone has switched to the euro, a common currency, without considering how it would work for countries with different levels of economic development, eventually causing problems. Why would we make the same mistakes," Putin said, adding that there is a need to improve the financial system as a whole.
External Interference in Syrian Affairs 'Leads to No Good'
External interference in the Syrian affairs and attempts to create quasi-states on the Syrian territory lead to no good and can only prolong the conflict, the president said.
"External interference and attempts to create quasi-states of a kind on Syrian territory lead to no good. Displacement of Arab tribes from the land they historically live on is a grave issue that can lead to the conflict's protraction," Putin stressed.
Russia is ready to contribute to increasing the level of trust, "including between the Syrian government and the Kurds residing in the country's north," the president added.
Ukrainian Failed Counteroffensive Attempt
Ukraine has lost over 90,000 troops since the start of its counteroffensive on June 4, the president stated.
"Since the start of the so-called counteroffensive — and these are the data only since June 4 — Ukrainian military units have lost more than 90,000 — those are sanitary and irreplaceable losses, as well as 557 tanks and almost 1,900 armored vehicles of various types," Putin stressed.
Russia in the meantime is carrying on with its special military operation "calmly
," he noted.
"We are calmly moving towards achieving our goals and are sure that we will manage to accomplish all the tasks we have set for ourselves," Putin emphasized.
Ukraine Trying to Damage TurkStream, Preparing Attacks
Ukraine is attempting to damage the TurkStream gas pipeline with the support of English-speaking specialists, the president stated.
"We continue to supply gas to Europe via the TurkStream. Apparently, Ukrainian terrorist groups aim to damage it too," Putin said.
The president added that the Russian ships have been guarding the pipeline systems
running along the bottom of the Black Sea.
"They are constantly being attacked with the help of drones, which are being prepared, in particular, with the direct participation of English-speaking specialists and advisers. We hear this on the air. We hear the English speech where these unmanned semi-submersible boats are being prepared. This is an obvious fact for us. Who ultimately does this, draw your own conclusions," the president stressed.
Russia Continues Exporting Gas, Including Via Ukraine
Russia is still exporting gas via several routes, including Ukraine, with Moscow paying Kiev for gas transit, Putin highlighted.
"The [gas] supplies continue, including through the territory of Ukraine. We export it via the Ukrainian territory and pay money for it," Putin emphasized.
Moscow is open to cooperation, although Ukraine slams it as an "aggressor," the president added.
"We hear that we are aggressors, but the money does not seem to stink for them. They are happy to get our money. We are open and ready for cooperation. If they don't want it, it's their problem," he stated.
Putin also said that Russia is ready to extend the production of liquefied natural gas (LNG)
and construct new pipelines to export it to other countries.
"We will increase the amount of liquefied natural gas produced and sold, and will export it to other markets. We will build new pipeline networks to the countries that want to get our product, where it is absolutely competitive and increases the competitiveness of the economies of the countries where our products are supplied," the president noted.
Russia Always Opposed Ukraine's Membership of NATO, Not of EU, Over Security Risks
Russia has always stood against Ukraine's membership of NATO due to national security concerns, but never opposed Kiev's aspirations to join the European Union, Putin emphasized.
"As for NATO — yes, we have always been against [Ukraine's accession to the alliance], and there are good reasons for this, as NATO's expansion to our borders poses a direct threat to our security," Putin stressed, adding that NATO infrastructure at Russia's doorstep is "a serious threat."
Meanwhile, Russia has "never objected to or expressed any spoke negatively about Ukraine’s plans to join the European Economic Community," Putin stated, adding that the country sees no military threat in "economic cooperation of any country, any economic unions."
The president also cast doubt on Ukraine's economic resilience, saying that it will collapse without foreign aid "in a week" despite an appearance of a balanced budget and macroeconomic indicators.
"It [Ukraine] is still trying to manufacture something, but little gets achieved," Putin said, adding that if the EU is ready to accept such an economy, then it is their choice.
In Total, 335,000 Russians Signed Military Contracts
Already 335,000 Russians have signed military contracts to participate in the special military operation, and 5,000 more have signed short-term contracts, the president stated.
“As of today, we already have 335,000 people who voluntarily came and entered into contracts with the Defense Ministry,” Putin said, adding that some 5,000 volunteers have signed short-term contracts.
When asked about the Wagner group, Putin said that there are no private military companies (PMC) in Russia as there are no laws regulating them, adding that the 'PMC' term was created by media.
“Several thousand fighters from this company [Wagner] have already signed contracts with the armed forces,” Putin said.
When asked about the untimely death of Wagner PMC founder Yevgeny Prigozhin, the president referred to the report of Russian Investigative Committee head Alexander Bastrykin who said that the plane with Yevgeny Prigozhin on board suffered no external impact when it crashed.
"Well, we know about the plane crash, the head of the Investigative Committee reported to me just the other day, fragments of hand grenades were found in the bodies of those killed in the plane crash. There was no external impact on the plane," Putin highlighted.
When asked about where Russian forces should stop during the special military operation, Putin responded by saying that it was all about “safety of our people” and not about territories. Moreover, Putin stressed that the Russian forces have advanced in 12 areas in the special military operation zone.
Russian Civilization Cannot Be Divided
The president stated that the Russian civilization could be neither reduced to a common denominator nor viewed as a combination of separate parts.
"The Russian civilization cannot be reduced to a common denominator. Neither can it be divided because it exists only as a whole — both spiritually and culturally," Putin emphasized.
Tomorrow situation in the West may change, internal political shifts possible after elections, and exact opposite views will be promoted, the president stated.
Russia ready for constructive interaction with all countries, and for tough resistance to those who advocate dictatorship, the president stressed. Russia stands for equality of all countries, Putin added.
Our Western colleagues are giving orders what policy should be carried out, doing so in a boorish manner - this is a manifestation of colonial thinking
, Putin stated.
"And in general, if I may say so, our Western colleagues, especially the United States, not only set such rules at their will, but also instruct who and how should fulfill them, who and how should behave in general. All this is done and said, as a rule, in a frankly boorish manner. This is the same manifestation of colonial thinking," Putin stressed.
Commenting on the Western support of Ukraine, the president stressed that Russia expects Western countries to demonstrate 'some common sense'.
"We are waiting at least for some common sense to kick in. As for whether they [the West] can or cannot manage [aid to Ukraine], that's for them to be asked... Well, of course they will. I don't see any problems in expanding production and in increasing the amount of money spent on the war, prolonging this conflict," Putin said when asked about whether Western countries can continue supporting Ukraine and what Russia expects from it.
In the conflict, Russia defends its traditions, its culture and its people, Putin said in response to a question about the possibility of describing Russia's operation in Ukraine as a "conflict of civilizations."
"First of all, I do not know what civilization people on the other side of the front line defend," the president added.
Despite the fact that Russia's defense and security spending nearly doubled, now at some 6% of GDP, according to Putin, the economic growth in Russia will be 2.8-3% by the end of this year, which is a good result, the president stated.
"This year, the economic growth in Russia will be 2.8%, or maybe even 3%. It is a good result for our economy, for the economic structure that Russia has. We have completely overcome the cutback of last year and are gaining momentum," the president noted.
The president also praised the economic growth of China and India, emphasizing that the countries of the Global South are gaining in leadership.
"In China, as far as I know, the growth is already 6.4%. This is a very good figure. No matter who says what about a slowdown in the Russian and Chinese economies, it is all chatter and idle talk, because China ensures these high rates and is one of the leading engines of the global economy. The same is true for India. The growth there is even higher, 7.6%. That is why the countries of the Global South, to the contrary, are gaining tempo. Our objective is to ensure this leadership," Putin stressed.
Meanwhile, it costs nothing for the United States to print money and distribute it all over the world, they printed over $9 trillion in the Covid period, the president emphasized.
Russia Helping to Resolve Karabakh Crisis
For 15 years Russia proposed Armenia to compromise and return 5 Karabakh territories to Azerbaijan and keep two, but Yerevan refused, Putin said.
Putin also shredded accusations put forward by European Council President Charles Michael that "Russia betrayed Armenia," stressed that the West has no moral right to lecture Russia about 'betrayal', noting that the West should have thought about the fate of the Armenians in Karabakh.
The Russian peacekeepers in Karabakh were empowered to only monitor compliance with ceasefire after 2020, the president stressed.
No one recognized te Karabakh when it declared independence, even Armenia, which is strange, Putin said.
The president rejected suggestions that Russia’s nuclear doctrine should be changed to broaden the conditions in which a nuclear strike could be launched.
"Change it? Why? Anything can be changed, I just don’t see a reason to do it. Nothing today poses a threat to Russia’s statehood and the existence of Russia as a state," he said, reaffirming two scenarios in which a nuclear strike would be conceivable — in response to a nuclear strike or if Russia's sovereign existence is deemed at risk.
The president stressed that the enemy wouldn’t survive Russia's response.
“Because from the moment the missile launch is detected, anywhere — be it out at sea or on the ground — a response launch would put hundreds of our missiles up in the air so that no enemy would have any chance of survival," Putin explained.
At the same time, Putin commented on calls to resume nuclear tests, stating that Russia’s ICBM Sarmat will be on combat duty in the near future.
"I hear certain calls to resume nuclear tests. Here is what I can tell them: the US signed a relevant agreement on the prohibition of nuclear tests, and Russia signed it too. The United States signed it - but never ratified it," the president stressed.
Putin said that Russia has de facto finished working on the nuclear-powered, nuclear-armed Burevestnik cruise missile and Sarmat heavy missile, and is ready to start mass production after technical preparations.
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Commenting on the European sanctions against Russia, the president satetd that the European countries have lost part of their sovereignty and made decisions that are detrimental to them. The result of European sanctions against Russia - plummeting competitiveness of the European economy, the president emphasized.
Putin stated that there are still no results of the investigation into the Nord Stream pipelines explosions
, and they are unlikely to appear.
"We are not allowed to participate in the investigation, despite our proposals and repeated calls to do so. There are no results, no investigation, and apparently there won't be any," Putin stressed, when asked about the acts of sabotage against the Nord Stream pipelines.
The president described the explosions as international terrorist attacks
, which has been Moscow's official position.
"The first thing I would like to point out is that long before the explosions, US President [Joe Biden] said in public that the United States would do everything to stop the supplies of Russian energy products to Europe via those pipelines ... Second, the destruction of those infrastructure facilities is certainly an act of international terrorism," he said.
The Nord Stream pipelines, built to deliver gas under the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany, were hit by explosions in September 2022. The pipelines' operator, Nord Stream AG, said that the damage was unprecedented and it was impossible to estimate the timeframe for repairing them.
Japan should take the initiative to normalize relations because Russia stands ready for cooperation, the president stated.
West Trying to Expand NATO Borders Towards Russia, China
The West has been trying to expand NATO to the borders of Russia and China, Putin stressed.
“We see that one of the ways to provoke and create a crisis in Ukraine was the desire of Western countries, and especially the United States, to expand NATO to the borders of the Russian Federation. But they do the same thing in the East [near China], creating various closed military groups,” Putin said, adding that Russia is not creating any alliances but is forced to react together with China to these developments.
Putin stated that the United States is worried about China’s rising power, not about human rights or rights of minorities there.