Collective East vs. hegemony
Did Vladimir Putin manage to convey the ideas of multipolarity to the final "addressees"?
Russian President Vladimir Putin took part in the plenary session of the annual meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club. The theme of the forum meeting, which took place on October 24-27, is "Peace after hegemony: justice and security for all."
The era of Western dominance in the world is a thing of the past - ahead of the most important and dangerous decade since World War II, the Russian leader warned. And he assured that Russia does not oppose the Western elites and does not claim hegemony in the new multipolar world. At the same time, Putin contrasted Western "neocolonial" globalization with real integration and called for "building a symphony of human civilization," a correspondent for The Moscow Post reports.
The world economy and trade must become freer. Settlements in national currencies will strengthen and gradually become dominant. The new economic model and financial system must be in the interests of the majority, not just the "golden billion."
Balance of interests, sovereignty, cultural and information openness, pluralism of opinions - these words were key in his speech and answers to the questions of the participants.
Philosophy of the "jungle" of the West
In the context of the degradation of world institutions and the erosion of the principle of collective security, international law is replaced by "rules." The "rules" themselves are not formulated and boil down to one thing - "so that the global authorities can live without any rules and get away with everything."
The West claims all the resources of humanity, and its proposed "rules-based order" is intended to allow it to live without rules at all. And the new centers of the multipolar world will have to start an equal conversation about the common future, and "the sooner the better." Is the West ready for this?
Modern liberalism has changed beyond recognition, to the point of absurdity, when alternative points of view are declared subversive, and any criticism is perceived as "the machinations of the Kremlin." The neoliberal model of the world "in American" is experiencing "not a systemic, but even a doctrinal crisis," Putin said.
For example, the chief diplomat of the European Union, Josep Borrell, cynically compared Europe with a "garden," and the rest of the world with a "jungle." His attempt to justify himself only exacerbated the situation when the politician pointed to the virtual owner of this "European greenhouse," which sets the rules of conduct. "The metaphor of" garden "and" jungle "is not my invention," Borrell said, attributing the metaphor's authorship to American neoconservatives.
Further, more. The diplomat continued: "We live in a world of politics from a position of strength, where interdependence is turned into a weapon, where countries are increasingly using force, threats and blackmail, seeking their own," he said, apparently recalling sabotage on Nord Stream, EU oil and gas sanctions against the Russian Federation, and confiscation of Russian foreign exchange assets.
Vladimir Putin did not pass by these issues, mentioned the explosions of gas pipelines, sanctions, and confiscation of assets. He said that the dollar is discredited, and the West's confidence in its infallibility is dangerous, since it is one step to the "desire of the most infallible simply to destroy those who they do not like, as they say," cancel. "
He also said that the US enjoys its financial monopoly and increases the purchase of food in global markets, as a result of which prices have increased, and African countries are suffering from this primarily.
According to Borrell, the "jungle" should include Russia, Iran, Venezuela, Iraq, Indonesia, as well as China, India, Brazil and South Africa. Representatives of almost each of these countries were present in the hall and asked questions to the Russian president.
Law and Law
According to the President, there are "at least two Westerners" - traditional, with the richest culture and aggressive and neo-colonial, with the diktat of which Moscow will never come to terms. Russia did not consider and does not consider itself an enemy of the West, at one time offered to "live together," but was refused. Now he defends his right to exist and free development without climbing into someone else's yard.
The new order must be based on law and law, free and fair. New, independent international financial platforms are needed, global trade should benefit the majority, not individual corporations, technological development should reduce inequality, not strengthen it.
Multipolarity is real, and in fact the only chance "for the same Europe" to restore its political and economic subjectivity, which today is "very limited." Last year, at the plenary session of the Valdai Club, the president spoke, in particular, about the gas crisis in Europe, that this is the result of the policy of the European Commission.
The EU's attempt to weaponize the relationship of interdependence with Russia in the field of energy has caused the energy crisis in Europe and beyond. The reasons for this crisis are not in the events in Ukraine and not in the coronavirus pandemic, but in the colossal underinvestment in the industry and sanctions against Russia, the policy of an accelerated "green" transition and anti-Russian sanctions.
The costs of EU countries to protect consumers from sanctions imposed on Russia have already exceeded 500 billion euros and will reach one trillion euros by the beginning of 2023. Under the sanctions, Europe lost the ability to diversify energy resources and became a victim of US policy.
About the special operation
Russians and Ukrainians are one people - this is a "historical fact," Putin said in response to a question from the moderator of the plenary session of the forum, director for scientific work of the Valdai Club Development and Support Fund Fyodor Lukyanov. At its core, Russians and Ukrainians are one people who found themselves in different states after the collapse of the USSR. However, if part of the Ukrainian ethnic group considers itself a separate people, "you can only treat this with respect," Putin said.
What is happening between Russia and Ukraine is "partly" a civil war. To the beginning of the special operation, Russia was pushed by Ukraine's public refusal to comply with the Minsk agreements and NATO expansion. The main task of the operation remains to help Donbass. Russia could not simply recognize the independence of its republics: "They alone will not survive, this is an obvious fact," Putin said.
The losses of Ukraine's troops recently almost always reach a ratio of one to seven or one to eight. If Moscow had not launched a special military operation, the situation for it would have become worse and future losses more. It is not worth talking about underestimating the enemy in Ukraine.
"The only real,... only Russia, which created today's Ukraine, could be a serious guarantor of Ukrainian statehood, sovereignty and territorial integrity, "Putin said. Moscow is still ready for negotiations with Kyiv, it was he who decided not to continue them. Washington should give him a signal of the need to solve problems peacefully.
On Nuclear Weapons
The "nuclear problem" on the Korean Peninsula is associated with an unwillingness to talk, with a boorish attitude towards the interests of the DPRK, said Russian President Vladimir Putin. "As long as nuclear weapons exist, there is always a danger of their use."
Situations in which Russia considers it possible to use it are spelled out in its doctrine. Moscow was never the first to say the possibility of using nuclear weapons, only "hints answered" to the statements of Western leaders. US proposals for strategic stability are still unanswered. Russia will inevitably be caught up in hypersonic weapons someday, but has not yet been caught up.
For Russia, there is no military or political point in delivering a nuclear strike on Ukraine, and the purpose of "today's fuss around nuclear threats" is to put pressure on Moscow's allies, friendly countries and neutral countries. Russia believes that the West deliberately blackmails her - for example, no one at one time reacted to the statements of the "girl a little out of it" Liz Truss, already the former Prime Minister of Great Britain.
It makes no sense for Russia to launch a nuclear strike on Ukraine. Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu called colleagues from other countries on October 23 and 26 about the "dirty bomb" on behalf of the president. To create such a bomb, Ukraine can load converted nuclear fuel into Tochka-U. Russia supports IAEA plans to send a mission to verify reports of a "dirty bomb," and "it needs to be done as quickly as possible and as widely as possible," as Kyiv does everything to cover its tracks.
Economics and National Development Goals
The national goals of Russia's development are aimed at solving social problems. It is necessary to develop the country's economy in order to solve issues of health care, education and other spheres, President Putin said at a plenary meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club.
The West failed to bring down the Russian economy, it became more flexible and adaptive, and business became more mature. Inflation in Russia by the end of the year will be about 12%, in the first quarter of 2023 - about 5%. Unemployment in Russia at 3.8% is less than before the pandemic. The decline in GDP at the end of the year will be 2.8-2.9%, but construction, agro-industrial complex and a number of other areas are growing. In Russia, there are no plans to nationalize.
"As for a more equitable social structure in Russia, under our Constitution Russia is a social state. And all our national development goals are devoted precisely to solving social problems.... Everything we do is aimed at this, at solving the social problems facing the Russian state. We have a lot of them, including many unresolved tasks, "Putin said, answering a question about the request for social justice.
The head of state noted that in order to solve such problems in the Russian Federation, it is necessary to change and develop the economy, and after that, on this basis, solve issues of health care, education, and technological development. "Structural change is the most important thing. The labor market will change, and in this regard, of course, we must think about those people who will be released from old places of work, give them new competencies, conduct retraining, and so on.
As for the Valdai Club, experts from a variety of areas gather here, if at the expert level we are prompted by development trends in key areas, we, of course, would be grateful to keep in mind your opinion when building our plans, given your position on these trends, which I have now said. Because, realizing what will happen tomorrow, it is possible and necessary to build a policy today, "the President of the Russian Federation added, addressing the members of the Valdai Club.
Putin was full of optimism
According to Yevgeny Minchenko, president of the Minchenko Consulting communications holding, Putin may believe that he can build a "large anti-globalization coalition."
"Putin was full of optimism. He believes that the Russian economy has coped much better with sanctions challenges and external pressure than one might expect. In general, the criticality regarding the military was also low - everything is planned, as expected, the opponents were preparing, so everything is not easy, but everything is going according to plan. So far, the mood is quite optimistic. Putin apparently believes that he can build such a large anti-globalization coalition, identified potential partners - China, India, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, "he told TASS.
The US administration, led by President Joe Biden, does not want an arms race with Russia and China and is not determined to expand the US nuclear arsenal. This was announced on Thursday by US Deputy Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Bonnie Jenkins. The United States is committed to continuing negotiations with Russia on arms control, but does not know when the dialogue in this area, interrupted at the initiative of Washington, will resume.
The United States does not see any signs that Russia allegedly decided to use a "dirty bomb" in Ukraine. US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said this at a press conference on Thursday.
Who knows, maybe Vladimir Putin's speech at the plenary session of the Valdai Forum was heard and will be a turn in the impending crisis. It would be nice, especially given the fact that around the same days of October 1962 there was a turn in the Cuban crisis.
Photo: Alexey Druzhinin/RIA Novosti