Russian President Vladimir Putin has given a speech at the plenary session of the Valdai International Discussion Club during which he outlined the main milestones in the development of mankind.
Putin also drew attention to what the world has come to as a result of limitless despotism of the West. This hegemony of Western countries has come to an end, he said.
The Valdai International Discussion Club brought together 111 experts, diplomats and politicians, as well as economists from 41 countries. The forum was attended by representatives from Afghanistan, Brazil, China, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kazakhstan, the United States, Turkey, and a number of other countries. On the first day of the Valdai International Discussion Club, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov held closed-door meetings with experts.
Speaking at Thursday's plenary session, Putin underlined that Russia, as a distinctive civilization, “has never considered and does not consider itself an enemy of the West.” According to the President of the Russian Federation, there are currently two Wests. One acts aggressively and colonialist, distorting the notions of democracy, globalization and liberalism. The second West, which is based on traditional Christian and now Islamic values. The dialogue with this traditional West, according to Putin, will be “an important contribution to the construction of a multipolar world order.” The Russian President underlined that our country does not challenge the elites of the West and does not intend to be a hegemon.
Meanwhile, Putin noted that the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is successfully developing. The world is moving from unipolarity to a new world order. The countries of Africa, Asia and Latin America will play an increasing role in the world. The values imposed by the collective West are largely unacceptable for these countries, which have ancient cultures and centuries-old traditions.
Speaking at a plenary session of the Valdai International Discussion Club for almost four hours, Putin stressed that the abolition of culture and values of a particular nation leads to nothing. The Nazis also burned books, and now the West is trying to ban Russian culture, for example, to ban Tchaikovsky and Dostoyevsky. Thousands of sanctions have been imposed on Russia, but it has survived and will live on. Every nation has the right to choose, so no one can dictate to our country on what principles to build our society. Traditional values cannot be imposed; they must be respected. The basis of the world civilization, according to Putin, are the traditional societies of Latin America, East, Eurasia and Africa.
Fighting for its hegemony in the world, the West unleashed a dirty, dangerous and “bloody game,” said Putin. In recent years, and especially in recent months, the West has taken steps to aggravate the situation. Arms are being supplied to Ukraine to exacerbate and inflame the conflict. Putin called the undermining of the Nord Stream and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines “an outrageous thing,” even though it was not only Russia that invested in their construction. In his speech at the forum, Putin stressed that the collective West does not take into account the sovereignty of countries and peoples, their identity and uniqueness, and the interests of other states represent nothing to it.
Even given this aggressive attitude of the West toward Russia, Putin spoke about our country's readiness to restore cooperation with Western states, but with those that share traditional values. In his opinion, according to Moskovsky Komsomolets, the world now has two ways: to accumulate problems that will inevitably crush everyone, or to find ways to resolve these disagreements that will work. The world has now approached a historic frontier since World War II, and we all have an important and dangerous decade ahead of us, said Putin. One who sows the wind will reap the storm.
The speech of the Russian head of state produced many questions. When answering questions about Ukraine, Putin said that the main thing was to help the people of Donbass, but he did not reveal the details of the operation, stating that this was not the time or place for this. As for the use of nuclear weapons, he said that he saw no sense in such a strike on Ukraine. Russia has never said that it could use these weapons first. In connection with the fact that, according to intelligence reports, it became known that the so-called dirty bomb was being made in Ukraine and there was plan to use it, pinning all responsibility on Russia, Putin stated directly that he asked Lavrov to inform his foreign colleagues about it.
As the Federal News Agency reported, The New York Times assessed Putin's speech and concluded that the Russian leader was trying to attract the attention of foreign conservative audiences. Hungarian journalist Gábor Sztir, in turn, stated that Putin is well aware of the processes in EU countries. Also noteworthy was former CIA counterterrorism chief Douglas Landen's assessment of Putin's speech, who said in an interview with CNN that there were signals in Putin's speech that suggested that he “was not as desperate as Western powers would like to think.” Such an assessment of an apparent opponent is worth a lot. According to Bloomberg, “Putin has not allowed himself to be cornered.”
Andrei Perla, a political analyst, described Putin's speech at the Valdai forum as “historical” and looking more like the speech of a great philosopher. He added that Putin was not counting on Western politicians and Joe Biden to understand him, but on the rest of humanity.
Viktor Potumsky, director of political analysis at the Institute of Social Marketing, in an interview with TASS, explained that Vladimir Putin's speech at the Valdai Club meeting explained both our country's current position and the essence of the conflict with Ukraine. For his part, Yevgeny Minchenko, President of the communications holding company Minchenko Consulting, said that “Putin is in good spirits.” According to the President of the Russian Federation, our country's economy coped with the sanctions restrictions and external pressure better than expected.