Putin: “The world is facing the most dangerous decade since the end of the Second World War”

Vladimir Putin said today that the West was playing a “dangerous, bloody and dirty” game over Ukraine, but stressed that the US and its allies would eventually need to talk to Russia.

He said that the West has been blinded by colonialism and is trying to tame the rest of the world. He went on to say that Russia does not consider itself an enemy of the West, while lashing out at “arrogant” Western leaders who he said are ready to impose their values ​​on the rest of the world.

He further stated that Russia will never accept Western countries telling it what to do and noted that the longer it takes the West to realize this, the greater the price will be. He accused the West of using economic sanctions and “color revolutions” against rivals as it cannot compete on equal terms with Asia’s rising economic and political power.

At the same time, he emphasized that Western countries have “set aside the rules” of international affairs in order to maintain their sovereignty and limit “second-class cultures”, as they see them.

The world is facing the most dangerous decade since the end of World War II, Russian President Vladimir Putin said today in a lengthy speech, in which he again sought to justify the invasion of Ukraine, unleashing fresh tirade against the West.

Speaking in Moscow at the Valdai Discussion Club think-tank, Putin stressed that there are clear and real risks to the future of humanity, blaming the West for a range of problems, from wars and conflicts to food shortages and humanitarian crises.

The Russian president defended Moscow’s attempted annexation of four Ukrainian provinces and stressed that the eastern Donbas region “would not have survived” on its own if Russia did not intervene militarily in Ukraine.

Last month, Putin announced Russia’s unilateral annexation of four provinces in eastern and southern Ukraine after holding “referendums” – as Moscow called them – in the Ukrainian provinces of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhia. Kyiv and the West have made it clear they will not recognize these annexations.

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The Kremlin leader argued that events in Ukraine in 2014 – when protests toppled Ukraine’s pro-Russian president – ​​led to today’s conflict.

Russia sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine on February 24, using the term “special military operation”.

He went on to say that only Russia can guarantee Ukraine’s territorial integrity, repeating the claim that NATO and the West are responsible for the outbreak of the war. Putin lashed out at the West for not agreeing to a package of security guarantees that Moscow demanded before it launched its invasion of Ukraine.

The Russian president said his mind was constantly with Russian soldiers killed fighting in Ukraine, but said Moscow had no choice but to launch the “special military operation” in Ukraine. As he said, the cost of the war – including that on the Russian economy – was inevitable and that Russia was strengthening its dominance.

The West, Putin said, was playing a “dangerous, bloody and dirty” game over Ukraine, but stressed that the US and its allies would eventually need to talk to Russia. He said that the West has been blinded by colonialism and is trying to rein in the rest of the world.

He emphasized that he does not consider Russia to be an enemy of the West, while lashing out at “arrogant” Western leaders who he said are ready to impose their values ​​on the rest of the world. He added that Russia will never accept Western countries telling it what to do and noted that the longer it takes the West to realize this, the higher the price will be.

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The West, the Kremlin strongman said, rejected Moscow’s efforts to build good relations with Washington and NATO because it was aimed at making Russia vulnerable.

Referring to the use of nuclear weapons, the Russian leader stressed that Moscow has never talked about using them and argued that Kyiv has the technology to build and possibly detonate a “dirty bomb” in Ukraine.

Putin said the West, including former British Prime Minister Liz Truss, was engaged in “nuclear blackmail” against Russia and dismissed allegations of Russian strikes on the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant – which is in an area controlled by Russian troops in southern Ukraine.

He said Russia’s military doctrine allows the country to use nuclear weapons only when on the defensive, rejecting accusations that Moscow is considering using them in Ukraine.

Russia, he said, was ready to resume talks with the US on nuclear arms control, but had no response from Washington on Moscow’s proposals for talks on “strategic stability”.

He accused the West of using economic sanctions and “color revolutions” against rivals as it cannot compete on equal terms with Asia’s rising economic and political power.

Western countries, he said, have “set aside the rules” of international affairs to maintain their sovereignty and contain what they see as “second-class cultures”.

According to him, the US has discredited the international financial system by using the US dollar as a weapon, pointing out that he believes other countries’ moves to reduce their dependence on the US dollar for international trade will accelerate.

At the same time, he praised his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, describing him as a “strong leader” who always defended Turkey’s interests. Putin said Erdogan had not always been an “easy partner” but that Turkey had always been “reliable” and had a desire to make deals.

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