V. Putin castigates the West and declares the end of “the era of the unipolar world”.
Published on 17.6.2022
VLADIMIR PUTIN SPEAKS
On the occasion of his speech at the 25th economic of Saint Petersburg, the President of the Russian Federation declared:
“The West has misjudged Russia’s sovereignty by sanctioning it. »
“Russia’s decision to carry out the special military operation was forced. »
“All the tasks described for the special military operation will be carried out to the end. »
“Faced with spiraling inflation, our goal is to ensure sustainable development for years. For citizens, for businesses, so that we have long-term inflation that is up to 4%. […] It is our objective, 4%, that we come back to it,” said Vladimir Putin, who had recently estimated that annual inflation in Russia would be 15% at the end of 2022.
Regarding the Russian economy, the Russian president said on June 17 that he was seeking to strengthen demand, particularly in the context of Western sanctions against Russia.
“The” blitzkrieg “against the Russian economy had no chance of succeeding” moreover judged the Head of State, who had already affirmed in recent weeks that the countries sanctioning Russia would not be able to undermine its economy.
Sanctions have “greater costs” for the countries taking them than for the sanctioned country, he also said, referring to high inflation in Europe and a loss of competitiveness for European businesses.
The government is going to invest 9 billion rubles next year in the rehabilitation of cultural centers in towns and in the countryside.
The West has yet to face the worst against Russia.
The United States is taking hostile action against Russia that is worse than what it did during the Cold War, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov blasted.
However, they are hurting themselves in the process and will eventually have to recognize Moscow’s legitimate interests, he said on Thursday.
“We are not even close to the climax of the crisis,” Peskov told RIA Novosti, explaining the economic damage caused by the confrontation between the West and Russia.
CNN reports: Russian President Vladimir Putin declared the end of the “era of the unipolar world” in a combative speech that lambasted Western countries at the International Economic Forum in St Petersburg on Friday.
“When it won the Cold War, the United States declared itself God’s own representatives on earth, people who have no responsibilities – only interests. They have declared these interests sacred. Now it’s one-way traffic, which makes the world unstable,” Mr Putin told the audience.
The highly anticipated speech was delayed for more than 90 minutes due to a “massive” cyberattack. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on an impromptu conference call that the speech was postponed due to distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks on conference systems.
It was not immediately possible to know who was behind this attack. Ukrainian IT Army, a hacker collective, named the St. Petersburg Forum as a target earlier this week on its Telegram channel.
Putin’s address to the annual conference, one of his most substantive speeches since he ordered the invasion of Ukraine nearly four months ago, was seen as an opportunity for the world to get a glimpse of his thinking.
Once the Russian president took the stage in the western Russian city, he wasted no time on the pleasantries and launched straight into attacks on the United States and its allies.
“They live in the past, alone, under the influence of their own illusions […]. They think… they’ve won and everything else is just a colony, a backyard. And the people who live there are second-class citizens,” he said, adding that Russia’s “special operation” – the phrase used by the Russian government to describe its war on Ukraine – has become a “lifeline for the West that throws all the problems on Russia”.
After accusing Western countries of blaming their problems on Russia, Mr. Putin tried to blame the rise in food prices on “the American administration and the European bureaucracy. »
Ukraine is a major food producer, but the Russian invasion affected its entire production and supply chain. The United Nations said the war had had a devastating impact on supplies and prices and warned it could push an additional 49 million people into famine or near-famine conditions.
Last week, Ursula von der Leyen, head of the European Commission, said food was now part of the Kremlin’s “arsenal of terror”.
Ukrainian officials have accused Russia of stealing Ukrainian grain, accusations which appear to have been confirmed by satellite images showing Russian ships loaded with Ukrainian grain. In addition, Russia is blocking maritime access to Ukrainian-held Black Sea ports, which means that even grain that is still under Ukrainian control cannot be exported to the many countries that depend on it.
The longtime Russian leader also blamed the West for trying to harm Russia’s economy, calling the sanctions against Moscow “crazy” and “reckless”.
“Their intention is clear: to crush the Russian economy by breaking supply chains, freezing national assets and attacking living standards, but they have not succeeded,” he added. ” It did not work. Russian businessmen rallied by working diligently, conscientiously, and step by step we normalize the economic situation. »
The Russian president has long presented his decision to launch an invasion of Ukraine as a response to kyiv’s growing diplomatic and security ties with the West. Last week he hinted that his goal in Ukraine was to restore Russia as an imperial power.
Putin claims that Russia was “forced” into the conflict in Ukraine.
Speaking on his war with Ukraine on Friday, Putin claimed that Russia was “forced” into the conflict.
He called the invasion “a decision of a sovereign country which has the unconditional right (…) to defend its security”.
“A decision aimed at protecting our citizens, residents of the Donbas people’s republics, who for eight years were subjected to genocide by the kyiv regime and neo-Nazis who received full protection from the West,” said he declared.
Both regions – the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) and Luhansk People’s Republic (LNR) – fell under the control of Russian-backed separatists in 2014.
The Kremlin has accused Ukrainian authorities of discriminating against ethnic Russians and Russian speakers in the regions, a charge kyiv has denied. As of 2019, Russian passports were offered to residents of both entities.
Finally, in late February, Putin announced he would recognize them as independent, a move that was seen as the opening salvo of the war.
On Friday, he said Russian soldiers and separatists were “fighting to defend their people” in the Donbas and the right to “reject any attempts to impose pseudo-values of dehumanization and moral degradation from outside.” »
No country other than Russia recognizes them as independent. Ukraine and the rest of the international community consider the territories to be under Russian occupation.
The European Commission announced on Friday that it is recommending Ukraine and neighboring Moldova as candidates for EU membership. Ursula von der Leyen, head of the Commission, said Ukrainians were “ready to die” for the European perspective.
Speaking on the European Union on Friday, Mr Putin said the bloc had “lost its sovereignty”.
“The European Union has totally lost its sovereignty, and its elites are dancing to someone else’s beat, harming their own people. The real interests of Europeans and European companies are totally ignored and brushed aside,” he said.
He then added that Russia has “nothing against” Ukraine’s EU membership.
“The EU is not a military-political bloc, unlike NATO, that’s why we have always said and I have always said that our position here is coherent, understandable, we have nothing against Putin said in a panel discussion after his speech.
“It is the sovereign decision of any country whether or not to join economic associations, and it is up to that economic association whether or not to accept new states as members. As far as it is convenient for the EU, let the EU countries decide for themselves. Whether for the benefit or detriment of Ukraine is also their business,” he said.
Anna Chernova, Fred Pleitgen, Zahra Ullah, Uliana Pavlova, Niamh Kennedy, Amy Cassidy and Sean Lyngaas contributed reporting for CNN.