On October 21st, Russian President Vladimir Putin held discussions with members of the Valdai club, after giving an address.
Notably, Putin said that the world was moving towards recognizing the Taliban movement and that Washington and Moscow were on the right track following the Geneva summit.
He also thanked Europe for the sanctions.
“A thank you goes to the Europeans for sanctions in the field of agriculture.” They triggered retaliatory steps and encouraged investment in import substitution efforts, including in industries. “And I should say that the impact is positive. I don’t mind telling you that I was concerned but the impact is in general very positive.”
“Over the past decade, many have recalled the Chinese proverb <…> “God forbid living in an era of change.” But we are already living in it, whether we like it or not,” Putin said.
Among other things, Putin stressed that the existing model of capitalism has exhausted itself and with its help it is impossible to get out of the tangle of increasingly tangled contradictions. The world food crisis will only get worse. All these problems threaten deep social divisions.
According to the President, although all states declare their readiness to work together to solve common problems, this is not always confirmed in practice. And the pandemic only spurred negative trends. At the same time, he noted the complexity of the issue, since politicians are primarily responsible to their fellow citizens, which is why international and transnational topics fade into the background, which is generally normal and correct.
The President stressed that the current state of the world is the result of the Cold War, from which lessons need to be learned and a precedent for establishing a new world order without a big armed confrontation.
In regard to the Taliban, Putin stressed that recognition was inching closer, and it was likely inevitable.
“It seems to me that we are getting close to doing so.” “Russia’s position will be to move in this particular direction” “but still, these decisions should be made the way they were made when the movement was blacklisted as a terrorist organization.” US President Joe Biden “did the right thing when he withdrew troops from Afghanistan” but now the United States and Europe “should not avoid responsibility for current and future developments” in the country.
In regard to the European energy crisis and the carbon taxes, Putin said that the problems were a result of the European Commission’s economic policy.
The gas crisis “is the result of the European Commission’s economic policy. Russia has nothing to do with it.” “If the Europeans continue to pursue such a policy, they will share the fate of a wolf from a Russian folk tale. “One of the other characters takes the wolf tto an ice hole, makes him catch fish with his tail and keeps chanting: ‘Let the wolf’s tail freeze’.” The idea of introducing a carbon tax in Europe “requires further elaboration.” “We hope that it will be done in dialogue with other countries, including Russia.”
When it comes to Ukraine, Putin said that while individuals with “extreme political views” were in charge in Kiev, there was little to be done.
People of extreme political views have seized power in Ukraine, they rule the country “regardless of what the name of the head of state is.” Even those who came to power relying on the support of the ‘silent majority’ failed to fulfill their election promises because “the aggressive nationalist minority deprived them of the freedom to make the decisions that the Ukrainian people were waiting for.” “This is a deadlock. I don’t actually understand how to break it. We’ll see what will happen on Ukraine’s political stage in the near future. For our part, we will do everything we can to build relations.” However, NATO is already active in Ukraine, creating a threat for Russia. “What if missiles are stationed near Kharkov some day? What do we do about it?”
Additionally, he spoke on the necessity of change in the United Nations.
He called it an enduring value that must be preserved. And although it does not always have time to adapt to rapid changes, one should not fuss and make mistakes in reforming it.
Speaking about the possibilities of other states to become permanent members of the Security Council, Putin noted that this should not be decided by Russia, but only by consensus. According to him, the question is how to find a balance.
“If we destroy the veto of the permanent members, then the United Nations will die on the same day, <…> it will turn into the League of Nations, that’s all,” the president said.
A separate topic of the speech was the conversation about values. The President called them a unique product of the cultural and historical development of each nation. Mutual interweaving broadens one’s horizons and allows one to think differently about one’s own tradition, but this process takes time and must be organic.
“Attempts to dictate values in conditions of uncertain and unpredictable prospects further complicate an already acute situation and usually entail a backlash and the opposite of the expected result,” the president said.
Putin recalled a speech by Martin Luther King, in which he said: “I dream that the day will come when my four children will live in a country where they will be judged not by the color of their skin, but according to their personality traits.” …
“This is the true value. But now we see that everything is happening differently,” the president said.
He pointed out that during the period of world reconstruction, the outcome of which is still unknown, moderate conservatism is the most reasonable line of behavior, which prevents one from going down and does not plunge into chaos.
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