On Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin addressed the current world order at a meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club. During his speech, Putin spoke out in condemnation of the United States, and its relations with the rest of the world, and he proposed the need for a new system.
Putin prefaced his message by saying that although he may seem “a bit too harsh,” he felt it was necessary to speak directly and honestly.
“We need to be direct and blunt today not so as to trade barbs, but so as to attempt to get to the bottom of what is actually happening in the world,” said Putin, who went on to say that they must be direct in order to “try to understand why the world is becoming less safe and more unpredictable.”
“As we analyze today’s situation, let us not forget history’s lessons.”
Addressing the current state of international relations, Putin said that what the world needed to do was to “carry out a rational reconstruction and adapt it to the new realities in the system of international relations.”
Putin used the analogy of the Cold War, saying that the United States, who “declared itself the winner,” saw no need for adapting to a new system.
“Instead of establishing a new balance of power, essential for maintaining order and stability, they took steps that threw the system into sharp and deep imbalance,” Putin said.
“We have entered a period of differing interpretations and deliberate silences in world politics,” said Putin. He defined the current time as one where “objectivity and justice have been sacrificed on the altar of political expediency,” and where “arbitrary interpretations and biased assessments have replaced legal norms.”
“Total control of the global mass media has made it possible when desired to portray white as black and black as white.”
Putin described the situation where, when one country had domination over all others, “the search for global solutions often turned into an attempt to impose their own universal recipes.”
“The measures taken against those who refuse to submit are well-known and have been tried and tested many times,” said Putin. “They include use of force, economic and propaganda pressure, meddling in domestic affairs, and appeals to a kind of ‘supra-legal’ legitimacy when they need to justify illegal intervention in this or that conflict or in toppling inconvenient regimes.”
Putin then addressed the current state of the United States’ use of surveillance, saying that it was evidence that “outright blackmail has been used with regard to a number of leaders.”
“It is not for nothing that ‘big brother’ is spending billions of dollars on keeping the whole world, including its own closest allies, under surveillance.”
Putin explored the idea that “the United States’ exceptional position and the way they are carrying out their leadership really is a blessing for us all,” and that their “meddling in events all around the world is bringing peace, prosperity, progress, growth and democracy,” and that maybe the rest of the world should “relax and enjoy it all.” He then determined, “this is not the case, absolutely not the case.”
Putin pointed out that rather than helping other countries, “imposing one’s own models produces the opposite result.” He said that this was evidenced by the fact that “instead of democracy there is support for a very dubious public ranging from open neo-fascists to Islamic radicals.”
Commenting on the fact that he never ceases to be amazed by the way other countries continue to make the same mistakes over and over, Putin used the example of the Islamic extremist groups, which were sponsored by the West to fight the Soviet Union, and then went on to become the Taliban and Al-Qaeda.
“The West if not supported, at least closed its eyes, and, I would say, gave information, political and financial support to international terrorists’ invasion of Russia,” said Putin. “Only after horrific terrorist attacks were committed on U.S. soil itself did the United States wake up to the common threat of terrorism.”
Putin then addressed the current events in Syria, pointing out the fact that the United States and its allies were responsible for “directly financing and arming rebels.”
Raising the question of how rebels received money, arms, and military specialists, which led to the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) as an armed force, Putin brought up Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq, which was “left in ruins” by the United States, and which had driven many people “out into the street.”
“What was the result? Tens of thousands of soldiers, officers and former Baath Party activists were turned out into the streets and today have joined the rebels’ ranks,” said Putin, who suggested that this might explain why the Islamic State group “has turned out so effective.”
“Russia warned repeatedly about the dangers of unilateral military actions, intervening in sovereign states’ affairs, and flirting with extremists and radicals,” Putin said.
Putin stated that he closely follows the discussions by “both the ruling elite and the expert community,” and that some of the largest problems with the United States can be demonstrated by the headlines found in its’ media over the last year.
“The same people are called fighters for democracy, and then Islamists,” said Putin. “First they write about revolutions and then call them riots and upheavals. The result is obvious: the further expansion of global chaos.”
Putin concluded that given the global situation, “it is time to start agreeing on fundamental things.”
“The logical way out is in cooperation between nations, societies, in finding collective answers to increasing challenges, and in joint risk management,” said Putin. “Granted, some of our partners, for some reason, remember this only when it suits their interests.”
Watch Putin’s full speech below: