The President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, took part in the plenary session of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi. After a half-hour speech in which the president outlined his opinion on key world problems, he also answered guests’ questions.
According to the President, the crisis the world is currently dealing with has a conceptual character, with a scale of a civilizational level.
“The pandemic has become another reminder of how fragile our world community is,” Putin said.
The head of the state is convinced that the problems of poverty and medical care push poor countries towards terrorism, migration, and create a sense of lack of prospects. Thus, the pandemic has become not unifying but a separating factor, the President is convinced.
According to Putin, nowadays, every government is responsible for its fellow citizens leaving international issues behind so that they will never be as important as internal stability. He was outraged by the fact that sanctions for a number of countries, despite the pandemic, remain unchanged.
“And where are the humanistic intentions of Western political thought here? This is chatter!” he said.
In this regard, the President called on other countries to put aside inappropriate ambitions and work together to combat the pandemic.
“We are surprised to see the processes unfolding in countries that consider themselves flagships of progress,” Putin said. “The aggressive erasure of one’s own history, the departure from such concepts as ‘mom’, ‘dad’, different genders – this is called ‘progress’ in the West.”
Besides, Vladimir Putin called the revolution “a path to aggravation”. He is confident that the values proposed by the West are absolutely not new, but Russia has already passed them through and left them behind. He noted that countering manifestations of racism is a noble cause, but in the new culture, it turns into “racism on the contrary”. Putin called it monstrous when children in the West are taught that a boy can become a girl or when they establish tight limits, criteria, lists of what kind of race an actor should be to play a role.
As for the decisions on energy in the West, the President said, they are made as part of political cycles, by non-specialists deceiving voters. He assured that if Europeans continue their energy policy, they will resemble much a character from the Russian fairytale, in which a wolf fished with his own tail in winter, while a fox who advised him to do so was saying, “Freeze, freeze the wolf’s tail.” When the tail was all frozen, people noticed the wolf who couldn’t get up from the pond and beat him. So, in the end, the wolf blamed the fox for bad advice, not himself for stupid actions.
“If Europeans follow this path, they will feel like these famous characters in a Russian fairy tale […] If they act this way, categorically, based on who knows what, then it will not lead to anything good,” the Russian leader said.
When asked how long the Taliban will remain a banned organization in Russia, Putin replied that it depends not on Russia, but on the UN decision, as it’s up to them to recognize the Taliban as terrorists or not. The President said that “the decision was made at this level”, so it should be changed on the same level too.
Among other things, Putin was asked about his attitude to mandatory vaccination. He noted that vaccination is mandatory only if it is included in the vaccination calendar, and vaccination against coronavirus does not apply to such. However, according to him, some foreigners come to Russia and get vaccinated with Sputnik V while buying a certificate from Pfizer vaccination.
As a matter of conclusion, Putin told that he does not think about his role in history. According to him, this will interfere with his process of making decisions. He called the reduction of the number of people below the poverty line his main achievement and drew attention to the fact that previously there were 40 million of them and now there are 19-20 million. Nevertheless, he stated that Russia overcame a difficult period not thanks to him, but thanks to the patience, courage and will of the Russian people.
A detailed transcript of the President’s meeting with the Valdai Discussion Club participants can be found on the event’s official website.