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From the New World Order to coke and hand grenades Here’s what Putin said at Russia’s annual Valdai Discussion Club

Source: Meduza
Grigory Sysoev / Sputnik / AP / Scanpix / LETA

Vladimir Putin participated in the plenary session of the Valdai International Discussion Club’s 20th annual meeting. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the president’s appearance would be “very meaningful and important.” In his speech, Putin criticized the West and its “influence in the world” and discussed his vision for the world order. He then answered questions from the audience on everything from Prigozhin’s plane crash to claims that Russia betrayed the Armenian people.

Putin’s speech — in brief

The Russian president’s full speech was posted on the Kremlin’s website

When we first met at the [Valdai International Discussion] club 20 years ago, our country was entering a new phase of its development. We used all of our energy and goodwill to engage in the process of building a new — as it seemed to us — more just world. Our readiness for constructive cooperation was misunderstood by some as an admission that Russia was ready to follow someone else’s path, ready to be guided by someone else’s interests. All these years, we repeatedly warned that such an approach would be fraught with the increased threat of military conflict. But no one wanted to hear us or listen to us.

The arrogance of our so-called partners in the West was off the charts. The U.S. and its satellites embarked on a course of military, political, economic, cultural, moral, and value[-based] hegemony. The prosperity of the West was achieved by robbing the colonies for centuries, at the expense of robbing the entire planet. The history of the West is essentially a chronicle of endless expansion.

There must be a response to the ever-increasing military and political pressure. I have said many times that we didn’t start the so-called “war in Ukraine.” We’re trying to end it. The war, which the Kyiv regime started with the direct support of the West, is already in its 10th year, while the special military operation is aimed at stopping it. The Ukrainian crisis is not a territorial conflict. The issue is broader and more fundamental — we are talking about the principles the new world order will be based upon.

The West always needs an enemy. Russia is Western politicians’ favorite topic. The Western elite are trying to make everyone who acts independently into an enemy, whether it be China, India, Arab countries, or Muslims. The U.S. imposes its security and economic decisions on Europe. Western “colleagues,” especially from the U.S., instruct others how to behave in very insulting ways. Who are you, anyway? It makes you want to say, ‘Open your eyes, the era of colonial rule is long over.’

Putin’s Q&A session

On militarizing the Russian economy

We’ve increased defense spending, not just defense, but also security spending. It has more or less doubled — it used to be around three percent, but now it’s around six. It’s not true to say that we’re overspending on guns and forgot about butter. I’d like to emphasize that all previously announced development plans, achievements of strategic goals, and the government’s social obligations to the population, are being fully implemented.

On the West’s military aid to Ukraine

Ukraine’s economy can’t exist without external support. It appears to be completely dependent. But at the expense of what? At the expense of monthly, multi-billion dollar injections. As soon as it stops, that’s it, it’ll all be gone in a week. The same applies to the defense system. Imagine that supplies would stop tomorrow, it’d take a week for ammunition to run out. The West is also running out of ammunition.

On European Council President Charles Michel’s statement that Russia betrayed the Armenian people

They’re ones to talk. We have a saying: it’s the pot calling the kettle black.

On Odesa

Odesa is of course a Russian city, but [it’s] a bit Jewish. Just a tiny bit.

More on Putin’s recent anti-Semitic comments

On Volodymyr Zelensky’s attendance of a meeting in Canadian parliament that (accidentally) honored an S.S. veteran

It looks absolutely disgusting that everyone is applauding, applauded, this Nazi, especially the Ukrainian president, who has Jewish blood running through his veins, an ethnic Jew stands and applauds a Nazi. Not just a descendant, not just a follower, but actually a person who destroyed the Jewish population with his own hands.

On Yevgeny Prigozhin’s death

The question of what happened to the head of the [private military] company is probably in the air. The head of the Investigative Committee told me the other day that grenade remnants were lodged in the remains of the bodies of those killed in the plane crash. There was no external impact to the jet. It’s an established fact resulting from an expert probe conducted by Russia’s Federal Investigative Committee.

Unfortunately, there was no examination for the presence of alcohol or drugs in the blood of the deceased, although we know that, following certain events, the FSB searched the company office and discovered not just $10 billion in cash, but also five kilograms of cocaine. In my opinion, such an examination should have been done, but it wasn’t.

Translation by Sasha Slobodov

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