From the Kremlin

Benjamin

Dagobah Resident
Russia sent a message that it has had enough and that it would be unwise for the terrorist countries to continue. I doubt he's joking.

Meeting with permanent members of the Security Council


The President held a briefing session with permanent members of the Security Council, via videoconference.

October 10, 2022
13:00
St Petersburg

Taking part in the meeting were Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko, State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin, Deputy Chairman of the Security Council Dmitry Medvedev, Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office Anton Vaino, Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev, Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, Director of the Federal Security Service Alexander Bortnikov, Director of the Foreign Intelligence Service Sergei Naryshkin, and Special Presidential Representative for Environmental Protection, Ecology and Transport Sergei Ivanov.
* * *
Russian President Vladimir Putin: Colleagues, good afternoon,

You know that yesterday Chairman of the Investigative Committee Alexander Bastrykin reported to me on the first results of the investigation into the act of sabotage on the Crimean Bridge.

The forensic and other expert data, as well as operational information, show that the October 8 explosion was an act of terrorism aimed at destroying Russia's civilian and critical infrastructure.

It is also clear that the Ukrainian special services were the organisers and perpetrators of the attack.
The Kiev regime has long been using terrorist methods, including murders of public figures, journalists and scientists, both in Ukraine and in Russia. And terrorist attacks on towns in Donbass, which have been going on for more than eight years. And also acts of nuclear terrorism, by which I mean missile and artillery strikes on the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant.

This is not the whole story: Ukraine's special services have also carried out three terrorist acts against Russia's Kursk Nuclear Power Plant, repeatedly blowing up the plant's high-voltage lines. The third such terrorist attack damaged three of those lines at once. The damage was repaired in the shortest possible time and there were no serious consequences.

However, there have been a number of other terrorist attacks and attempts to commit similar crimes against electricity generation and gas transportation infrastructure facilities in our country, including an attempt to blow up a section of the TurkStream gas pipeline system.

All this has been proven by objective data, including the testimony of the detained perpetrators.

It is well known that Russian representatives are not allowed to take part in the investigation into the causes of explosions at and the destruction of international gas pipelines running under the Baltic Sea. But we all know who ultimately benefits from this crime.


Thus, the Kiev regime, by its actions, has actually put itself on the same level as international terrorist groups, and with the most odious of those. It is simply no longer possible to leave crimes of this kind without retaliation.

This morning, at the proposal of the Defence Ministry and in accordance with the plan of Russia’s General Staff, a massive strike was launched with long-range precision air, sea and land-based weapons against Ukrainian energy, military and communications facilities.

In the event of more attempts to stage terrorist attacks on our territory, Russia's response will be harsh and commensurate with the threats posed to the Russian Federation. Nobody should have any doubts about that.


Defence Minister, please report on the results.
 

Cosmos

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
In case you missed it, Putin just gave another very interesting speech. I've just summarized some of the many intriguing points he made in that speech in the "Putins dire warning for humanity" thread. Here is the speech for reference:

Russian Energy Week International Forum plenary session

Vladimir Putin spoke at the plenary session of the Russian Energy Week International Forum. The topic of the panel discussion is Global Energy in a Multipolar World.

October 12, 2022 14:15
Moscow

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: "Good afternoon, friends, ladies and gentlemen.

I would like to welcome all the participants and guests of Russian Energy Week, a respected and recognised platform for dialogue on key global energy topics.

Such direct and transparent communication is essential now, when the global economy in general, the fuel and energy sector are in the middle of, let me be direct, an acute crisis due to unstable price dynamics of energy resources, an imbalance in supply and demand, and the overtly subversive actions of individual market participants, who are guided solely by their own geopolitical ambitions, resort to outright discrimination in the market, and if that does not work, they simply destroy the infrastructure of their competitors.

In this case, I am of course talking about the sabotage of the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines. There is no doubt that this is an act of international terrorism, the purpose of which is to undermine the energy security of the entire continent. The logic is cynical: to destroy and block cheap energy sources, hence depriving millions of people, industrial consumers of gas, heat, electricity and other resources and forcing them to buy all this at much higher prices. Forcing.

The attack on the Nord Streams has set an extremely dangerous precedent, which shows that any critical piece of transport, energy or communications infrastructure is under threat, regardless of its location, management or whether it lies on the seabed or on land.

It was proven by, well, it may not be the right place to talk about this, as Russian Energy Week is not directly related. However, I must say that it was proven by the terrorist attack on the Crimean Bridge committed by Ukrainian intelligence. I have already said that the Kiev regime has long resorted to terrorist methods, organising political assassinations, ethnic purges and crackdowns on civilians. They upload results on the internet, and then realise it was a mistake and immediately delete them. But the content stays online. They do not stop at nuclear terrorism either, specifically the shelling of the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant, terrorist attacks near the Kursk Nuclear Power Plant in Russia and, of course, sabotage attempts against TurkStream.

I would like to repeat that there is solid documented evidence. These crimes were plotted and ordered by the end beneficiaries seeking instability and conflicts.

And who stands behind the sabotage against the Nord Streams? Clearly, those who want to completely sever ties between Russia and the European Union, to fully undermine and crush Europe’s political agency, weaken its industrial potential and seize the market. And, of course, those who – I want to stress it – have the technical capacity to organise such explosions and in fact have committed similar sabotage in the past and were caught red-handed but evaded punishment.

The beneficiaries are well known. I believe no specific details are necessary since the remaining gas systems will acquire greater geopolitical significance. They stretch across Poland (Yamal‒Europe), and Ukraine, the two pipelines that Russia once built with its own money. And, of course, the United States, which will now be able to supply energy resources at high rates.

As they say, in decent companies, this is “highly likely.” Everything is clear. It is obvious who stands behind this and who stands to gain.

Now it is possible to impose large volumes of LNG from the United States on European countries, LNG which is obviously less competitive than Russian pipeline gas. After all, the price of American LNG is much higher, and this was common knowledge before. Now the difference is even greater and there are additional risks. The risks lie in high instability – any supplies may float away to other countries. Incidentally, we watched this happen quite recently, when American tankers carrying LNG to Europe turned around halfway and changed their destinations because LNG sellers were offered a higher price elsewhere. They ignored the interests of their European customers.

I would like to recall who helped Europe at that time and sent additional gas supplies to the European market. It was Russia. However, the leaders of these countries prefer not to recall this. Moreover, they deem it possible to reproach us for being “unreliable.” Do we deny supplies to them? We are ready to ship and we are providing them with all the quantities, as agreed under our contracts. We are supplying them with all the contractual amounts. But if someone does not want to take our product, what do we have to do with this? That is your decision.

I have noted many times that the Nord Stream lacks any political background. It is a strictly commercial project, in which Russian and European companies take part on equal terms. Hence, Russia and our partners in EU countries should resolve the future of Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2.

It is certainly possible to repair the damaged gas pipelines that run under the Baltic Sea. But this will make sense only if their further use is economically feasible and the safety of their routes can be ensured – this is the fundamental prerequisite.

If we come to an agreement with the Europeans to supply gas through the surviving branch – and one branch of Nord Stream 2, apparently, has survived… Unfortunately, we are not allowed to help inspect this branch, but the pipeline is holding pressure. It might be damaged, but we do not know this, because as I have said, we are not allowed to inspect it, but there is pressure, which means, apparently, that it is in working order. Its capacity is 27.5 billion cubic metres per year, which is about 8 percent of Europe’s gas imports.

Russia is ready to begin deliveries. The ball is in the EU's court. If they want to, they can just turn on the tap and that is that. I repeat that we are not restricting anyone or anything, and are ready to supply additional volumes in the autumn and winter period.

We have spoken more than once, including at the Russian Energy Week platform, about the causes and nature of the crisis that is unfolding in the European market, including their excessive enthusiasm over renewable energy sources to the detriment of hydrocarbons. Of course, alternative types of energy should be explored – solar, wind, tidal and hydrogen energy. We need to explore them all, but we need to take into account the current volume of consumption, the growth rates of the global economy, the demand for energy resources and the level of technological development. But jumping the gun, for political reasons, especially populist domestic policies – come on, who does that? But this is what they did – and here is the result. The same holds true for the curtailment of nuclear energy, as well as the rejection of long-term contracts in the gas sector and the shift to exchange quotations.

Incidentally, according to expert estimates, this year alone, the spot gas pricing mechanics have caused Europe more than 300 billion euros in losses – about 2 percent of the Eurozone's GDP. This could have been avoided if they stuck to long-term oil-linked contracts. You are all professionals and must understand what I am saying: the price difference between the spot market and long-term contracts is three- or four-fold. And who did it? Was it Russia? They did it themselves. In fact, they imposed this trading system on us. They have essentially forced Gazprom to shift, in part, to a link to the spot market, and now they are groaning. Well, it is their own fault.

It is clear how this problem of high rates will be solved. We have seen the same strategy being used with other commodity groups. They simply print more money. In the past year alone, the money supply in the EU has increased by around one trillion euros. The problem is what Europe is going to do with this money. Europe will, just like with other goods, including food, grab them and gas from the global market. As a result, other countries, especially developing countries, will have to overpay for these energy resources.

The resources that come to the European market are sold literally triple the price, as I have said, and this feeds inflation. It has already reached 10 percent in the euro zone. It is hitting ordinary Europeans as their electricity and gas bills have more than tripled over the past year. The European population is stocking up on wood for winter, like in the Middle Ages.

What does Russia have to do with it? They are constantly trying to blame others for their own mistakes, in this case Russia. I want to stress again that it is their own fault. It is not even a result of certain actions during the special military operation in Ukraine and Donbass. Absolutely not. It is the result of years and years of bad energy policy. Years and years.

Rising costs are crippling local companies. Some industries are experiencing production decline in the double digits. Deprived of affordable energy resources from Russia, European businesses have to shut down and look for better conditions in other jurisdictions. This process is underway.

I cannot help but quote some statistical data. According to EU statistics, exports to Russia amounted to 89.3 billion euros in 2021 and imports from Russia to 162.5 billion euros. The deficit in Russia’s favour is 73.2 billion euros. That is data for 2021. In the early months of 2022, this deficit increased to 103.2 billion euros.

What caused it? We sell our goods and we are ready to buy European products, but they refuse to sell them. They imposed embargos on several categories of goods one after another, hence the deficit. What does this have to do with us? They will blame us again. We sell what they want to buy – and at market rates. We are ready to buy from them but they will not sell. The deficit keeps growing, to repeat, through no fault of our own. Just do not walk away from cooperating with Russia. That is it.

I would like to note – as European officials at the highest level also mentioned – that European wellbeing in the past decades has been mainly based on cooperation with Russia.

The consequences of the partial rejection of Russian goods are already hitting the European economy and residents. But instead of working on restoring their own competitive advantage in the form of affordable and reliable Russian energy sources, the Eurozone countries are only making the situation worse, including by capping the price of oil and oil products from our country. But it is not only European countries; they are doing this together with North America, as planned, beginning December of this year.

I will quote the American economist, Nobel Prize winner Milton Friedman: “If you want to create a shortage of tomatoes, for example, just pass a law that retailers cannot sell tomatoes for more than two cents per pound. Instantly you will have a tomato shortage. It is the same with oil or gas,” end of quote. Let me remind you that Milton Friedman passed away in 2006. He had nothing to do with the Russian government and cannot be designated as a Russian agent of influence.

It would seem that these are truisms. But the leaders of some countries, their bureaucratic elites dismiss these obvious considerations, and, on someone else's command, are deliberately pursuing a policy of deindustrialising their countries, reducing people’s quality of life, which will certainly entail irreversible consequences.

It should be clearly understood that if the price of oil from Russia or other countries is limited, if some artificial price caps are imposed, this will inevitably worsen the investment climate in the entire global energy sector, then exacerbate the global shortage of energy resources and further increase their cost, and this, I repeat, will primarily hit the poorest countries. These inevitable consequences are plain to see. And experts, including world-class ones – I just gave you a quote – talk about it all the time.

No amount of intervention or the unsealing of oil reserves will remedy the situation. They simply do not have as much spare resources as they need – that is the whole point. They need to understand this eventually.

The fact is that aggressive promotion of the green agenda, which, of course, needs support, as I said, but it should be done right, so, the aggressive promotion of this agenda, including in the euro area, has led to underinvestment in the global oil and gas sector. Already. Meanwhile, the EU and the United States have imposed sanctions on leading oil producers, which make up about 20 percent of the global output.

As a result, in 2020–2021, investment in oil and gas production dropped to the lowest levels in the past 15 years. You see, it happened in 2020 and 2021, long before our special operation in Donbass. Investment was less than half of what it was in 2014 in the wake of what the so-called Western politicians did, and businesses underinvested by $2.5 trillion. I will come to that later: what does the OPEC+ decision have to do with it? The OPEC+ decision is designed solely to balance the global market. They have found their scapegoat in OPEC+. What does it have to do with anything? Clearly, to reiterate, they are simply covering up their mistakes. I will come to that later.

There is one more important point. Suppose the oil price cap is imposed. Who can guarantee that a similar cap will not be imposed in other sectors of the economy, such as agriculture, the production of semiconductors, fertilisers, or the metal industry, and not only with regard to Russia, but to any other country? No one can give such guarantees, meaning that with their reckless decisions, some Western politicians are breaking the global market economy and are, in fact, posing a threat to the well-being of billions of people.

The so-called neo-liberal ideologists of the West are known to have destroyed traditional values before, we all see. Now, they seem to have set their sights on free enterprise and private initiative.

As I mentioned earlier, Russia invariably fulfills its obligations in stark contrast to Western countries, which cynically refused to honour signed finance and technology, as well as equipment supply and maintenance contracts.

I am here to say one thing: Russia will not act contrary to common sense or underwrite someone else’s prosperity. We are not going to supply energy to the countries that introduce price caps. I want to tell those who prefer con jobs and shameless blackmail to business partnerships and market mechanisms – we have been living in this political paradigm for decades now – you should know that we will not do anything that disadvantages us.

We strongly believe that stability, balanced energy markets and a secure future for all nations can only be ensured through joint efforts in an open and honest dialogue based on the principles of joint responsibility and consideration for each other's national interests.

This is the kind of dialogue we have established with our partners under the OPEC+ agreement, as I have just mentioned. As you know, we recently reached the most recent agreements, which primarily reflect supply and demand trends for oil, as well as long-term investment programmes for the oil industry, which, as I have already said, is objectively underfunded.

In October, the quota for oil production in our countries will remain at the August 2022 level, and then it will be cut by 2 million barrels per day. We hope that these decisions will suit both oil producers and consumers. At the same time, the coordination between the OPEC+ partners will certainly continue to ensure the stability and predictability of the market. Experts know that predictability is the key issue.

Colleagues,

Russia is one of the key participants in the global energy market and among the world leaders in oil and gas production and exports, as well as electricity generation and coal mining.

Despite the sanctions and sabotage of infrastructure, we do not intend to cede our positions. We will continue to ensure stable energy security and expand ties with countries that are interested in this.

Oil production in Russia has already recovered and is even slightly higher than last year. We plan that by 2025, our total oil exports, as well as production, will remain approximately at today’s level.

There is something I would like to note. In recent decades, Russian oil production has been largely dependent on foreign equipment and services, but by 2025, we plan to increase the share of domestic equipment in the industry to 80 percent. That is, despite the Western companies leaving the Russian market (they are only making it worse for themselves), we will be able to ensure oil production at the required level.

As for Russian gas, we will certainly take our product to the international markets. Projects such as Power of Siberia and TurkStream have proven their effectiveness. We have the Blue Stream for Turkiye’s domestic market, and 14 billion cubic metres of gas are in transit to Europe via TurkStream. Not a lot, but still something.

Here is what I would like to say in this regard. We could move the lost volume of transit through the Nord Stream pipelines along the bottom of the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea region and thus make Turkiye the main route for the supply of our fuel, our natural gas to Europe and create a major gas hub for Europe in Turkiye, if, of course, our partners are interested in seeing this happen. It is an economically viable project with much higher safety levels as can be seen from recent events.

The high-tech LNG segment is making strides. Its production in Russia increased by almost 60 percent in August. In particular, the unparalleled Yamal LNG plant located in the Arctic latitudes is operating successfully. Our systematic measures to develop the Arctic’s resource base, the Northern Sea Route and the transport and icebreaker fleet have yielded good results.

We will continue to increase energy exports to fast-growing markets. Of course, we will be expanding the geography of our deliveries, identifying key pieces of infrastructure for doing so and building them, including promising projects such as Power of Siberia-2 and its Mongolian section Soyuz Vostok, as well as lining up the Asian and European segments of the national gas transmission system. We will continue to support LNG terminal projects. All of the strategic and very specific goals in this area have been set before the Government of Russia. I am sure they will be fulfilled.

We will continue the transition to settlements in national currencies when delivering Russian energy resources. I have already mentioned one such instance where Gazprom and its Chinese partners decided to switch to the ruble and the yuan in equal proportions when paying for supplied gas. Some European partners have also transitioned to payment in rubles for our gas, which you are well aware of as well.

Colleagues,

No doubt, Russia has been and will remain one of the global energy market’s major participants. However, our key goal is to make sure that the domestic fuel and energy complex works for the benefit of the national economy, primarily, its competitiveness, the development and betterment of our regions, urban and rural areas, and improvement of the quality of life of our citizens.

Increasing the volume of raw material processing is a separate strategic goal. We are already implementing ambitious plans in this regard, including projects in the Far Eastern Federal District to develop large- and small-scale oil and gas chemical plants. The number of such projects will increase markedly in the years to come.

The social programme for connecting households to the gas distribution system is gaining momentum. I am referring to towns and villages where the gas network is available. By the beginning of October, over 300,000 addresses had been connected.

At the same time, the cost of gas equipment and installation is a heavy burden on many Russian families; we have already spoken about this. First of all, we are talking about large families, veterans, people with disabilities, and low-income families. We definitely need to help them, and we will. What kind of help are we talking about? I ask the regional authorities to ensure the provision of subsidies for the purchase and installation of gas equipment to those who cannot afford it. The subsidy should be at least 100,000 rubles per connection.

I am aware that different regions have different financial means, so these subsidies in regions with a low level of budget security will be supported by federal resources.

I ask the Government to monitor the implementation of this measure to support families and assess whether any additional steps are needed.

We have made one more decision – we agreed to include schools in the social programme to link them to the gas distribution system. I think that the Government and Gazprom should add medical facilities such as outpatient clinics, hospitals and rural health centres to the programme in the near future – it would be the right thing to do.

This will ensure that the key social facilities in the regions – medical and educational centres – have a source of cheap and environmentally friendly energy, which is especially important for rural areas.

Overall, taking into account the number of new applications from households and the growing number of newly connected facilities, I ask the Government to extend this social programme beyond 2022.

One more thing. Despite the difficult economic situation and the external restrictions, the Russian energy system continues to be updated. This year, facilities with a total capacity exceeding 2000 megawatts were built or modernised.

Due to this systematic approach, we have been able to keep electricity prices in Russia at the lowest level in Europe. Let me remind you that energy prices in the EU have increased several times over this year alone.

Particular attention should be paid to improving the reliability of the electric grids. Special programmes have been launched this year to support the regions where the situation is the most difficult, and I ask the Government to start implementing them as soon as possible.

Friends,

The global energy industry is now facing unprecedented challenges and problems. The short-sighted and erroneous actions by a number of Western countries have been pushing the international community into this situation for years – I have already mentioned this, and I think I was quite convincing.

Effective and constructive ways out of the situation should certainly be the subject of thorough, professional, and depoliticised discussions, including at Russian Energy Week.

I repeat: Russia is ready for a trust-based partnership in the energy sector that serves the interests of our countries’ sustainable development and their reliable access to affordable energy. And we know that this approach is shared by the overwhelming majority of our partners and countries around the world.

I would like to wish you rewarding discussions and to thank you for your attention.

Thank you very much and all the best."
 

Benjamin

Dagobah Resident
There was not much to this transcript being of mostly economic in nature. Only a few points arose. The 'Fight Against Terrorism and Extremism' agreement sounds 'involved'.

Meeting of the CIS Heads of State Council


Vladimir Putin took part in a meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Commonwealth of Independent States.

October 14, 2022
11:40
Astana

...

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: ... Of course, we welcome mediation no matter who offers it insofar as these efforts help ease tensions to the benefit of all parties in any disputes and conflicts. This also concerns our partners from any countries, including the US and Europe.

That said, yesterday I was surprised to read some comments by the French President on the results of the meeting in Prague on October 6. I think these statements point to a lack of understanding of how this conflict is developing and, by all appearances, a lack of information on the positions of the sides, too. This is why they sounded inappropriate, and I’d say, even perverse, and are unacceptable for this reason. There will be an opportunity to discuss all this with the President of France.

...

I would also think it expedient to fully use the potential for interaction between the CIS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, specifically in the fight against terrorism, crime, drug trafficking, and corruption. The Programme of Cooperation among the CIS Member States in the Fight Against Terrorism and Extremism for 2023–2025, which we are supposed to sign today, will provide specific opportunities for this.


Later Putin addressed the media. I have broken it down again into individual questions so it's not a solid block of text.

Vladimir Putin answered media questions


In conclusion of his working visit to Kazakhstan, the President answered journalists’ questions.

October 14, 2022
15:55
Astana

These first two questions are economy related.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good evening,

Let’s take your questions. Please go ahead.

Aysel Gereykhanova: Good evening,

Aysel Gereykhanova, Rossiyskaya Gazeta.

Mr President, you took part in the summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia yesterday, and the creation of a new international organisation was announced yesterday as well. How do you assess these plans and what purpose do they serve?

Vladimir Putin: We asked ourselves this question back when this organisation was being created 30 years ago, I think, and it appeared back then there was plenty of all sorts of other tools that could be used to compare notes on security issues. However, we realised today that this is not so, and these additional tools are needed and must be improved, especially for the Asian region.

This entity is the brainchild of First President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev. He is no longer active in this capacity, but the entity is alive, and Kazakhstan has proposed creating an organisation on its basis.

As a reminder, the OSCE was formed along the same lines and started out as a forum for discussing European security issues and then became an organisation.

I think this is the right thing to do, since there are many threats in Europe and Asia alike. I will not go over all of them, I am sure you know all about it.

So, in my opinion, it is an important and timely decision, and all the participants supported it.

Alexei Lazurenko: Good afternoon.

Alexei Lazurenko, Izvestia.

The first Russia–Central Asia Forum has ended just moments ago. Do you think Central Asian countries are still interested in Russia like before?

Vladimir Putin: I think they are even more interested now. Of course, our trade is growing and much faster than in previous years, for understandable reasons. I do not think I need to elaborate.

We are developing new logistics chains, many of which are running across this region. The regional countries are interested in this. And lastly, new opportunities for cooperation and for developing our own competencies are being created.

We are looking for ways to revive some enterprises which were shut down recently; we can do this on a fundamentally new technological basis, including in Central Asia, which would be interesting both for us and for our partners. This is the first point.

The second is that we need to decide how to do this, for example, in the financial sphere and services, transitioning to national currencies, the volumes involved, what exactly should be done, and how to organise the transfer of financial information. There are many specific issues which our Central Asian partners are certainly interested in.

That is quite apart from security issues, the fight against terrorism and, for example, the situation in Afghanistan. Yes, we discuss this at the CSTO and CIS platforms, but these issues concern above all the Central Asian republics. Therefore, we could use a separate format, which we need, in principle.

And lastly, as I said, we are working with our partners and allies at the bilateral level, but when we meet in such formats as today, five [Central Asian] countries plus Russia, we do not look at the issues on the agenda from a bilateral angle but, as I noted today, try to look for projects and spheres of cooperation that will be of interest to the region as a whole. The issue may be the same, but we look at it from a different angle that may be of interest to all of us. This is the next point.

And one more thing. For example, our colleague from Turkmenistan [President Serdar Berdimuhamedov] said that cooperation with Russia in a multilateral, Central Asian format was very important for Central Asian states, which have no access to the world’s oceans, and allows us to look together for such opportunities and channels. We are developing several projects with our other partners, which are interesting for us as well. It is very important, interesting and appropriate now to bring all this together.

Problems between Azerbaijan and Armenia, and Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan raise questions if there are any concerns with the unity of CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) members. There isn't and the members get briefed regularly on the state of Russian-Ukraine relations.

Pavel Minakov: Good evening, Interfax Agency.

It is no secret that some countries within the post-Soviet space are apprehensive about the events unfolding in Ukraine. You met with your colleagues during the CIS summit and spoke informally with them. What are your impressions: amid the ongoing hostilities in Ukraine, has unity in the CIS got stronger, remained the same, or are there any negative trends underway?

Vladimir Putin: No. As you can see, all this is going on, all the formats are working, which means they are important, and our allies, our partners want to use these formats in their work. Nothing has changed in this regard.

However, we are paying attention to events related to Azerbaijan-Armenia relations and to what is going on between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. We are well aware of all that. Of course, our partners are interested and concerned about the future of Russia-Ukraine relations. True, this is being discussed, and there is nothing unusual about it. I brief our partners in detail about it and make our point of view clear to them. But this does not in any way affect the nature, the quality, or the depth of Russia's relations with these countries.

Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan have a ongoing hot dispute that has been discussed trilaterally with Russia in a mediating role. A tentative understanding seems to have been reached.

Please go ahead.

Yuliya Bubnova: Good afternoon.

Yuliya Bubnova, TASS agency.

You held a meeting with the leaders of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan yesterday. How did it go and what are the outcomes? Thank you.

Vladimir Putin: It was a constructive meeting. No doubt, when relations are in a fairly hot phase, finding common ground is not easy, but I think we succeeded in doing so. At least, we have agreed that no effort would be spared to prevent the resumption of hostilities. This is my first point.

Second, importantly, the parties will take every step necessary to have the refugees return home.

Third, and also significant – without claiming to play any mediating role (although, truth be told, we were asked to do so), we agreed that both sides would make the corresponding documents and their vision for resolving this issue available to us, and we will assess their proposals and use the documents at our disposal to find a solution, which could be the basis for reaching potential agreements. What I am saying is that Moscow might have access to more reliable information about the borders between the republics than the republics themselves. We will go over these documents and the maps, and then look for a solution in cooperation with our colleagues.

So, the meeting was useful overall.

Putin allows Germany the right to choose its path. But prepaired to suffer the consequenses for the greater NATO good.

Please go ahead.

Pavel Zarubin: Good evening,

Pavel Zarubin, Rossiya TV channel.

I have a question that many people are now pondering in Russia.

I think the role of Germany in the conflict in Ukraine has not been discussed well enough. If Chancellor Merkel took a rather reserved position, Mr Scholtz has gone rogue, so to speak. Suddenly, Germany has forgotten with amazing ease what Russia did for the unification of the German people and did not think twice before turning over some very difficult pages of the reconciliation of the two nations, and now we are seeing what was unthinkable before –Russian people are again being killed by German weapons.

You are an expert on Germany. How can you explain what is happening, and how will this affect Russia-Germany relations in the future?

Thank you.

Vladimir Putin: This is the choice of the people who legally came to power in a particular country, Germany in this case. They must decide themselves what is more important for them – to fulfil allied commitments, as they understand them, or to ensure the interests of their own people, their national interests.

Judging by what you said, in this case the Federal Republic has prioritised its allied commitments in NATO. Is this right or wrong? I think this is a mistake, and businesses, the economy, and the people of Germany are paying for it because it has adverse economic consequences for the Eurozone in general and the Federal Republic in particular.

However, it looks like hardly anyone takes into account its interests or else the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 would not have been detonated. Although they were not operational, they still provided an element of reliability – they could be switched on in the worst-case scenario. But this is no longer possible. Although there is a line that still seems to be in working condition, as I said in Moscow, but a decision has not been made and is unlikely to be made. But this is no longer up to us. This is up to our partners.

As for the ideas that guide the leaders of different states, this is their own business. I have set forth my version. I think it explains the gist of the problem.

The contrast between 'mediator' countries and potential talks between Russia and Ukraine.

Go ahead.

Maria Finoshina: Maria Finoshina, RT International.

Good evening, Mr President,

Before your trip to Kazakhstan, you met with the President of the United Arab Emirates and then with the President of Turkiye here in Astana. In what way was the situation in Ukraine discussed during these meetings? Perhaps, the leaders of these countries shared with you their insight into Kiev’s exclusive position that they are privy to?

According to the Turkish media, Ankara is trying to set up talks between Moscow and Western countries – the United States, United Kingdom, France and Germany – in Istanbul. How realistic is the idea of holding this meeting today? If it takes place, how effective will it be without Kiev at the table? Does the idea to involve China and India in these talks seem plausible to you?

Thank you.

Vladimir Putin: We are aware that President Erdogan has played a fairly significant role in resolving a number of issues, including exchanges. He was personally involved in this work, and, as we know, got results. We are grateful to him, because we got our servicemen, including officers, back. This is my first point.

Second, he was deeply involved in organising grain exports from Ukraine. Unfortunately, this grain is not being shipped – or small amounts of it are shipped – to the poorest countries under the UN programme, but that is a different matter. I discussed it with him as well. During our talks yesterday he was in favour of structuring the grain flows and shipping grain primarily to the poorest countries. This is up to the UN Secretary-General. I am aware that he is working on it, but not everything is working out for him, either.

The United Arab Emirates are also willing to act as mediators, and the President of the United Arab Emirates is working on it, including humanitarian issues, exchanges, and so on, and not without success, for which we are also grateful to him.

India and China always talk about the importance of dialogue and peaceful resolution. We are aware of their stance. They are our close allies and partners, and we respect their position.

But we are also aware of Kiev’s position – they kept saying they wanted talks, and even sort of asked for them, but have now passed an official decision that bans such talks. Well, what is there to discuss?

As you may be aware, speaking at the Kremlin when announcing the decision on the constituent entities of the Russian Federation, I said we are open. We have always said that we are open. We reached certain agreements in Istanbul, after all. These agreements were almost initialled. But as soon as our troops withdrew from Kiev, the Kiev authorities lost any interest in the talks. That is all there is to it.

If they ever get ready for this, we will welcome it. At that point, the mediation efforts of all the stakeholders may come in handy.

Possible negotiations with Biden at the G20? Not likely. Putin is not yet sure if he will even attend.

Please go ahead.

Ilya Yezhov: Ilya Yezhov, Vesti FM and Mayak radio stations.

Continuing with international topics: Mr President, is there any certainty about your trip to the G20 summit in Indonesia? And if so, if you were to go there, would you be willing to hold talks with US President Joe Biden?

Thank you.

Vladimir Putin: You will have to ask him if he is ready for such talks as well. To be honest, I do not see the need for it. By and large, there is no platform for any kind of negotiations at this point.

The question of my going there is not decided yet. But Russia will certainly take part in this work, and we will think over the format of it. At this stage there is no question of direct talks with any of the G20 members, since we are in constant contact with some of them, as you know. We just talked about the position of Turkiye and the Turkish President – Turkiye is also part of the G20, and we are in constant contact with him, as well as with some of our colleagues. We have not discussed such issues with the President of the United States.

A question raised if the explosives for the Crimean bridge were shipped from Odessa via humanitarian grain shippments. Putin's final answer is so straightforward, it's comical.

Please.

Konstantin Panyushkin: Good afternoon!

Konstantin Panyushkin, Channel One.

The Federal Security Service reported the other day that the explosive device that went off on the Crimean bridge was originally shipped by sea, apparently by cargo ship, from Odessa.

How will this fact affect Russia's stance on cargo shipping from Ukrainian ports: will we, perhaps, obstruct it now? And most importantly, as for the grain deal, because after all, the agreement was to export grain, not explosive devices. Won't this terrorist act ruin the grain deal?

Vladimir Putin: The Federal Security Service has stated that this so-called cargo, or more precisely, explosives, was probably sent by sea from Odessa, but it is not clear whether this was done with the help of grain carriers or not. This is a question, the answer to which is not yet available.

But if it turns out that humanitarian corridors for grain shipments to the poorest countries (although it does not go there, but this work was organised under that pretext) were used to commit terrorist acts, then of course this would raise a big question about the continued functioning of that corridor. But so far we have no such information.

Konstantin Panyushkin: Is a possible Russian response being worked out?

Vladimir Putin: You know what, the answer is simple: we can just shut it down and call it a day. But we must first find out for sure. There is no such information.

Putin's response to 'cancle culture' and a very clear distinction between Ukrainian culture and Nazi culture.

Please.

Alexander Yunashev: Good afternoon, Mr President.

Alexander Yunashev, Life.

Several days ago, a man was fined in Moscow for listening to Ukrainian music. This seems like a clear case of overkill, because soon the film “Only ”Old Men“ Are Going Into Battle” can be banned, because there are Ukrainian motifs there, and Gogol.

After all, just because Nazis listen to folk songs doesn’t mean the songs themselves become Nazi, what do you think? And what should the attitude to Ukrainian culture be now?

Vladimir Putin: I think we are constantly indignant at attempts to shut down Russian culture, to cancel it, and it is completely absurd. As one of our musicians said: ”Such fools.” But we must not behave in the same way. That’s first.

Second, Ukrainian is one of the official languages in Crimea. In one of the constituent entities of the Russian Federation, Crimea, Ukrainian is an official language, along with Crimean Tatar and Russian. So it would be illegitimate in its own right.

Third, I think there are about three million citizens of the Russian Federation permanently residing here who are Ukrainians. How can we ban their language and culture? It is unthinkable for us.

And so I understand what this is connected with: it all has to do with the emotions of the moment. But I think that many of our families know, listen to and love Ukrainian songs and Ukrainian culture. Back in the Soviet Union, hits sung in Ukrainian were very popular. And I think that we should not be like those who, as I said at the beginning, answering your question, cancel any culture. Culture has nothing to do it.

If the current leadership in Kiev considers it possible to support neo-Nazis and support torchlight processions in the centre of their large cities, as well as people who walk around with Nazi symbols, this has nothing to do with Ukrainian culture.

Putin clarifies a few questions on the 'mobilisation'. He also reveales that it is almost complete.

Please.

Lyubov Lezhneva: Good afternoon,

Lyubov Lezhneva, Izvestia.

I have a question about mobilisation. You have already said that there are many associated problems, and now many companies do not understand which employees will be mobilised.

I would like to ask you if there will be another wave of mobilisation. Will there be total mobilisation. Is the figure of 300,000 people mentioned by the Defence Minister still up to date or not?

Thank you.

Vladimir Putin: To begin with, the Defence Ministry initially planned a smaller figure – not 300,000 people. This is the first point.
Second, nothing is planned additionally. The Defence Ministry has made no proposals about this and I don’t see any need for it in the foreseeable future.

As for the mess I mentioned, it is linked with old forms of accounting, which have not been updated for decades. The quality of these papers became clear only with the start of mobilisation. This database is now being updated and modernised and will be as accurate as possible. So I think the quality of this work will be improved as well.

That said I must note that this work is already ending. Now there are already 222,000 mobilised troops out of 300,000 people. I believe all mobilisation activities will be completed in about two weeks.

Also a question about 'mobilisation' in regards to people leaving Russia.

Go ahead, please.

Alexei Golovko: Alexei Golovko from the Rossiya. Vesti channel.

To continue the same subject. We are in Kazakhstan now. We know that there are very many people here who left after the announcement of partial mobilisation. There is a certain number of them in neighbouring countries as well.

Different things are said about them in Russia. Some people call them traitors and there were even proposals in the State Duma to impound their cars. What is your personal view of the people who left the country after September 21?

Vladimir Putin: I would prefer to base my assessment on the law, not emotion. It is necessary in each case to consider the legal implications of the actions of a specific citizen. Some left because they are scared of something, others because they want to evade mobilisation and still others for some other considerations. It is necessary to give a legal assessment in each case and take action with regard to each individual on these grounds alone. I believe it is impossible to act in any other way.

A third question about the 'mobilisation' and how men recently called into service could already be dead. A followup question about the security of further attacks on infrastructure after the Crimean bridge.

Go ahead, please.

Gleb Ivanov: Thank you very much.

Gleb Ivanov, Argumenty i Fakty.

Mr President, a follow-up question about mobilisation. The first deaths of mobilised soldiers have been reported. The Chelyabinsk Region authorities said several mobilised men had died. A Moscow Government employee who was mobilised on September 23 is being buried in Moscow today. He had no military training or military experience.

The question is: how is this possible? When the partial mobilisation was announced, it was said that all those mobilised would undergo mandatory military training. How did people end up on the frontline and die before even three weeks had passed since the mobilisation was announced? What do you think about the mobilisation process?

One more question, if I may, about the Crimean Bridge. After the terrorist attack on the Crimean Bridge, what can you say about the security measures at strategic infrastructure facilities like railway stations, airports, gas pipelines, or power plants? Are we able to protect them?

Thank you.

Vladimir Putin: With regard to mobilisation, I can only reiterate what I said earlier. The line of contact is 1,100 kilometres long, and it is practically impossible to hold it exclusively with the contract soldiers, especially since they are taking part in offensive operations. This is the reason for mobilisation. This is my first point.

Second, all citizens who are called up as part of the mobilisation must undergo training which is provided as follows. I said that 222,000 people are now in the army, more precisely, the formation units, where they receive initial training that lasts from five to 10 days. Then, depending on the military specialty, they go to combat units for training for a period of five to 15 days. The next step is training with troops involved in combat operations, where they undergo joint combat training.

If you look at it from the time the mobilisation started to the present day, in principle, looking at the minimum values, in general, this is possible. And it is not only possible. Like I said, 222,000 are in the formation troops, 33,000 mobilised men are already in the units, and 16,000 men are in the units involved in combat missions.

Since questions like you just asked still arise, I will instruct the Security Council additionally. There are former Defence Ministry employees with extensive experience on the Council. They are good at what they do; they are high-level specialists. I will instruct them to inspect the training process for mobilised citizens.

With regard to security, after the terrorist attack on the Crimean Bridge, the relevant services were tasked with stepping up monitoring in order to ensure the safety of critical infrastructure, and corresponding measures must be taken at all of them, including energy facilities of different levels and classes and at transport facilities. Our country is vast, so let us hope that the efforts in this area are effective. So far, we have managed successfully.

Putin does not regret his actions and Ukraine will exist after the war.

Please go ahead.

Andrei Kolesnikov: Kommersant daily.

Do you think Ukraine will be able to exist as a state after all this? What about Russia?

And a second question, Mr President. You don’t regret anything do you?

Vladimir Putin: No.

I want everyone to understand. What is happening today is unpleasant, putting it mildly, but we would have got the same thing a bit later but in worse conditions for us, that’s all.

So my actions were the right ones at the right time.

Andrei Kolesnikov: And what about my first question?

Vladimir Putin: Whether Ukraine will exist?

Andrei Kolesnikov: Will Ukraine be able to exist as a state? Will Russia?

Vladimir Putin: But we did not set ourselves the aim of destroying Ukraine. Certainly not.

Meanwhile, at one point they suddenly switched off water in Crimea where 2.5 million people live, 2.4 million to be precise. Troops had to enter and switch on the water for Crimea. This is simply an example of the logic behind our actions. If they had not taken this action there would have been no counteraction.

The bridge was blown up. Now we have to think hard. How important is it for the Russian Federation to ensure that Crimea is connected by land? Do you understand?

The lessons sent by Russia into Ukraine after the bridge were effective enough that further lessons are not needed. For now.

Pavel Zarubin: After the act of terror on the Crimean Bridge, massive strikes were launched on Ukrainian territory. Were they effective, and are more likely in the future?

Vladimir Putin: There is no need for massive strikes now. Other tasks are on the agenda because I think out of the 29 targets the Defence Ministry had planned to hit, only seven were not. But now they are dealing with them gradually. There is no need for massive strikes, at least for now. As for the future, we’ll see.

Putin warns about the consequenses of NATO openly sending troops into Ukraine.

Is that all? Now the final question.

Sergei Dianov: Thank you very much.

Sergei Dianov, RIA Novosti.

NATO officials are saying explicitly that Ukraine’s defeat would mean the alliance’s defeat. Do you think NATO will send troops into Ukraine if the situation on the battlefield becomes disastrous for Kiev?

Vladimir Putin: You know this is a question of concepts, of legal technicalities. What does Ukraine’s defeat mean? It is open to interpretation. The fact that Crimea became a Russian region in 2014, is that defeat or what? It is necessary to understand what it is.

But in any event, sending troops into direct engagement, a direct clash with the Russian Army is a very dangerous step that could lead to a global catastrophe. I hope those who talk about this will be smart enough not to undertake such dangerous steps.

Thank you very much. All the best.
 

Benjamin

Dagobah Resident
Putin declares martial law in the four regions. At the end, Putin invites discussion into the migration policy which has become a security concern.


Meeting of the Security Council


The President held a videoconference meeting of the Russian Federation Security Council.

October 19, 2022
14:45

Novo-Ogaryovo, Moscow Region

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues,

Before we proceed to the current agenda, I would like to speak about an exceptionally important matter.

During the referendum, residents of the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics, the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions firmly and conclusively expressed their will. They want to be with Russia. The constitutional laws on incorporating these four new regions into the Russian Federation have taken effect.

As we know, the Kiev regime refused to recognise the will and choice of the people, declining any proposals for talks. On the contrary, shelling continues and civilians continue to die. The neo-Nazis are using plainly terrorist methods, plotting sabotage at critical infrastructure, attempting to murder members of local authorities. Just like their ideological predecessors – Bandera's followers and Hitler's accomplices, they are trying to create a criminal underworld, sending sabotage groups to our territories.

The Ukrainian intelligence services plotted the explosion on the Crimean Bridge. We managed to prevent terrorist attacks in other Russian regions, specifically, at mass gatherings, on public transport, at energy facilities, including – and I want to stress this – at nuclear energy facilities.


In this context, I would like to remind you that before their accession to Russia, martial law was in effect in the Donetsk People’s Republic, the Lugansk People’s Republic, the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions. Now we must introduce the same mode under Russian law. This is why I have signed the Executive Order introducing martial law in these four regions. It will be submitted to the Federation Council for approval immediately. The State Duma has been informed about this decision.

Also, I consider it necessary in the current circumstances to give additional powers to the heads of all Russian regions. An Executive Order to this effect was signed today as well.

Top officials in the constituent entities of the Russian Federation should see to it that measures are taken to ensure the safety of people, the security and counterterrorism protection of critical infrastructure facilities, maintain public order, enhance the stability of the economy and industry, as well as launch and increase the manufacturing of products necessary for the special military operation. The regional heads will be authorised to establish corresponding headquarters to coordinate these efforts. I hereby instruct the Government, the Defence Ministry and other agencies to give them all the support necessary.

It is obvious that the situation and state of affairs differ from region to region, and so the range of measures and the tasks set for the regional heads will differ depending on the situation in any given constituent entity of the Federation. Therefore, the Executive Order provides for several levels of response to arising risks.

I am asking the Moscow Mayor, who heads the State Council Commission on State and Municipal Government, working jointly with the Presidential Executive Office, to take part in ensuring coordination of the regions’ efforts to implement the measures set out in this Executive Order and interaction between the constituent entities of the Federation with federal authorities. I hereby instruct the heads of all Russian regions to immediately start implementing the provisions of this Executive Order.

Next, not only the security and law enforcement agencies concerned but the entire system of public administration shall take part in providing supplies for the special military operation. Work must continue to improve coordination. In this connection, the Government is to draft a Presidential Executive Order on establishing a special coordinating council. It will be chaired by the Prime Minister and will comprise deputy prime ministers and representatives of security and law enforcement agencies, the social and economic bloc of the Government, the Presidential Executive Office and the State Council, which will ensure close interaction with all Russian regions.

I would like to emphasise once again that we are proud of everyone who joins our armed forces and who is doing their duty to defend the Motherland. All our soldiers, no matter what tasks they are assigned, must be provided with everything they may need. This concerns the equipment of barracks and deployment areas, living conditions, uniforms, weapons, meals and medical services. We have the necessary capabilities to deal with all arising questions, which do exist, at a modern level worthy of our country.

It is also known that problems with paying allowances to servicemen drafted as part of the partial mobilisation have emerged in recent time. Today, I have signed an instruction on strict compliance with the established timeframes for and amounts of payments. Let me remind you that they should amount to no less than 195,000 rubles per calendar month, including, I want to stress this in particular, the period of training and instruction.

I also authorise heads of regions, jointly with the Russian Popular Front, the #WeAreTogether movement and volunteers, to take control of efforts to provide all-out support to families whose relatives have been mobilised for military service – to children, parents, wives and the next of kin of all our defenders.

Colleagues,

We are working to resolve highly complicated, large-scale challenges related to ensuring the security and reliable future of Russia. We are working to defend our people. Those who are now at the front or undergoing training at training grounds and centres should feel our support and know that they are backed by a huge and great country, by a united and closely-knit people. I am confident that our workers, engineers and entrepreneurs will continue to effectively address the tasks facing the defence industry and the economy.

Let me stress once again: good organisation is required today at all levels of power. The heads of regions, who have been vested with additional powers, are charged with special responsibility. All heads of constituent entities of the Russian Federation must take concerted efforts and be ready to make quick and precise decisions. It is necessary to be constantly in contact with people, enterprises, labour collectives.

We will work hard, steadily and smoothly. But we also need additional coordination and concentration of efforts in the most important, priority sectors. This is imperative. And we will do it. I count on your support.

Colleagues,

We will now move on to the Security Council’s agenda and discuss certain issues related to the migration policy. This sphere is highly sensitive for national security and for the stable development of Russia and our society.

The situation in the world is changing dynamically. There are new global and regional factors that affect the migration sphere, and we should respond to these factors in a timely and effective manner, improving our work based on a thorough analysis of the new realities.

It is obvious, for example, that we need to upgrade the existing State Migration Policy Concept. It should fully take into account the entire range of both existing and potential challenges and become the basis for further legislative improvements. I issued the relevant instruction in March 2020, and today I expect to hear detailed reports on what has been done and what priorities we will have to focus on in the near future.

Let us move on to the discussion. The floor goes to Deputy Chairman of the Security Council Dmitry Medvedev.

<…>


Here is the document transcript of the Martial Law Order.

Executive Order introducing martial law in the DPR, LPR, Zaporozhye and Kherson regions


The President of Russia signed Executive Order On Introducing Martial Law in the Donetsk People’s Republic, Lugansk People’s Republic, Zaporozhye and Kherson Regions.

October 19, 2022
14:50

Taking into account that armed force is being used against the territorial integrity of the Russian Federation, in accordance with part 2 of Article 87 of the Russian Federation Constitution and Articles 3 and 4 of the Federal Constitutional Law No. 1-FKZ, On Martial Law, dated January 30, 2002, the President resolved to introduce martial law on the territories of the Donetsk People's Republic, the Lugansk People's Republic, the Zaporozhye Region and the Kherson Region, starting at midnight on October 20, 2022.

The Government of the Russian Federation, in accordance with the proposals of the Defence Ministry, the Interior Ministry, the Ministry for Civil Defence, Emergencies and Disaster Relief, the Federal Security Service, the Federal Service of National Guard Troops and the Chief Directorate for Special Programmes of the Russian President, shall be instructed to submit, within three days, proposals on measures to be applied in the regions where martial law has been introduced.

If necessary, other measures may be applied in the Russian Federation during the period of martial law, provided for by the Federal Constitutional Law No. 1-FKZ On Martial Law, dated January 30, 2002.

This Executive Order shall be submitted to the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation for approval immediately.
 

Benjamin

Dagobah Resident
There was another Order which has more detail. It looks like an order to set up regional governments under the martial law umbrella within the four regions but I'm not very good with this stuff and could be reading it wrong.


Executive Order on measures implemented in Russian regions following Presidential Executive Order of October 19, 2022, on introducing martial law in the DPR, LPR and the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions


Vladimir Putin signed Executive Order On Measures Implemented in the Constituent Entities of the Russian Federation in Connection with Presidential Executive Order No. 756 of October 19, 2022.

October 19, 2022
14:50

The Executive Order was signed to enhance the efficiency of activities by top officials (executive government bodies) in the constituent entities of the Russian Federation in connection with the introduction of martial law on the territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic, the Lugansk People’s Republic, the Zaporozhye Region and the Kherson Region.

The President resolved to introduce a regime (maximum response level) on the territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic, the Lugansk People’s Republic and the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions, whereby top officials (executive government bodies) of the said constituent entities of the Russian Federation shall exercise the powers envisaged by Federal Constitutional Law No.1-FCZ On Martial Law of January 30, 2002, for conducting mobilisation activities in the economy, in the executive government bodies of the said constituent entities of the Russian Federation and local self-government bodies, as well as measures to deal with civil defence and protection of the population and territories against natural and manmade emergencies, and shall exercise the powers for implementing measures to meet the needs of the Russian Federation Armed Forces, other troops, military units and bodies, and to satisfy the needs of the population.

In accordance with Federal Law No. 61-FZ On Defence of May 31, 1996, and other normative legal acts of the Russian Federation, territorial defence shall be conducted and interdepartmental coordinating bodies (territorial defence headquarters) shall be established on the territory of the said constituent entities of the Russian Federation.

In addition, a regime (medium response level) shall be introduced on the territory of the Republic of Crimea, the Krasnodar Territory, the Belgorod, Bryansk, Voronezh, Kursk and Rostov regions and Sevastopol, a city of federal significance, whereby top officials (executive government bodies) of the said constituent entities of the Russian Federation shall be given relevant powers. The Executive Order also lists the measures they must carry out.

A regime (high alert level) shall be introduced on the territories of the Russian Federation constituent entities which are part of the Central Federal District and the Southern Federal District, with the exception of the aforementioned constituent entities of the Russian Federation, whereby top officials (executive government bodies) of the said constituent entities of the Russian Federation shall be given relevant powers. The Executive Order also lists the measures they must carry out.

A regime (basic readiness level) shall be introduced on the territories of the constituent entities of the Russian Federation which are not mentioned in the Executive Order, whereby top officials (executive government bodies) of the said constituent entities of the Russian Federation shall be given relevant powers. The Executive Order also lists the measures they must carry out.

According to the Executive Order, a list of measures to be taken, the timeframe, specifics and order of their implementation shall be determined by decisions of top official of a Russian Federation constituent entity independently, with due account of the current situation and the arising risks on the territory of this region of the Russian Federation.

Top officials of the Russian Federation constituent entities were instructed to establish operational headquarters for implementing the measures envisaged by this Executive Order. Operational headquarters of a Russian Federation constituent entity shall be headed by the top official of the said constituent entity. The operational headquarters shall include representatives of the Defence Ministry, heads of the territorial bodies of the Interior Ministry, the Ministry for Civil Defence, Emergency Situations and Natural Disaster Relief, the Federal Security Service, and the Federal Service of the National Guard Troops, as well as representatives of public authority of the relevant Russian Federation constituent entity and other organisations.

According to the Executive Order, decisions by top official of a Russian Federation constituent entity (operational headquarters) adopted within his or her competence, shall be mandatory for implementation by regional executive government bodies, local self-government bodies, territorial bodies of federal authority operating in the relevant constituent entity of the Russian Federation, and other bodies, including collegial ones, organisations operating in the relevant constituent entity of the Russian Federation, and citizens registered as living on this territory or those staying on the territory of the relevant region of the Russian Federation.
 

Benjamin

Dagobah Resident
Mentioned at the end of this transcript above was the 'migration policy' but it gave very little detail.

I had overlooked this one since it was filled in the 'Security Council' section of the Kremlin transcripts and didn't show up in the usual 'Events' list. It's a comment about the migration issue. A very interesting read.


Comment by Nikolai Patrushev following the Security Council meeting


October 19, 2022
15:45

Secretary of the Security Council Nikolai Patrushev: The Security Council of the Russian Federation discussed new challenges and threats to national security amid an escalating global migration crisis caused by major geopolitical and economic changes around the world.

According to UN estimates, there are over 280 million migrants globally. This figure increases significantly every year. Twenty years ago there were 100 million fewer.

The destructive actions of the United States and its allies, which incite military and inter-ethnic clashes, and their crude interference in the internal affairs of independent states have resulted in waves of millions of refugees from Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Ukraine and other countries.

Due to the growing terrorist threat in Africa and the Middle East alone, 28 million refugees arrived in Europe and Asia in 2021.

The restrictive economic measures are also forcing people to relocate. The illegitimate unilateral sanctions imposed by the West have led to a significant decline in the standard of living in a number of countries and a reduced access to essential supplies, including food and medicine. Presumably, the energy crisis in Europe caused by Western sanctions will lead to another wave of displacement.

The migration challenges facing our country have evolved as well.

Amid the relaxation of quarantine restrictions brought on by the pandemic, the number of foreign nationals coming to Russia, mainly in search of work, increased by a third this year.

About 5 million residents of Donbass and southeast Ukraine found refuge in Russia as they fled the neo-Nazi Kiev regime’s genocide.

With this in mind, the priorities of government institutions and agencies in the migration sphere must be revised.

Members of the Security Council have decided to amend, by the end of 2022, Russia’s current State Migration Policy Concept for 2019–2025, as well as to draft a specific action plan to implement the amended concept.

Support for people arriving from the settlements in the DPR, LPR, Zaporozhye and Kherson regions affected by the actions of Ukrainian neo-Nazis will continue to receive particular attention. As safe conditions are created in those regions, the Government will provide all-out assistance in their return to their places of permanent residence.

Additional security measures have been developed to protect our fellow nationals abroad who find themselves in challenging situations due to the rampant Russophobia of unfriendly countries.

Law enforcement agencies and security services have been instructed to detect members of international terrorist and extremist organisations who use migration channels to stage terrorist attacks and commit other crimes.

Significant efforts are planned to maintain law and order in areas densely populated by migrants. Legislative changes are envisaged that will tighten migration control and increase the penalty for foreign nationals violating the rules of stay in our country.

Considerable attention is to be paid to the social and cultural adaptation of foreign citizens, and their children’s enrolment in Russian general education programmes.

Other instructions were also given to the Government of Russia, to interested ministries and agencies, presidential plenipotentiary envoys to the federal districts, and heads of Russian regions.
 

Benjamin

Dagobah Resident
In this meeting, Putin is updated on the state of the economy. I'm not going to post the entire transcript but what struck me is just how much money is being moved around here. Along with many previous transcripts I get the impression that Russia is upgrading everything a fast as possible, all the while fending off the West. This little section that I am posting is about cybersecurity that is already known but lead to AI.

Working meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Chernyshenko


Dmitry Chernyshenko briefed the President on the implementation of presidential executive orders and instructions in the areas he supervises.

October 24, 2022
13:50

The Kremlin, Moscow

Dmitry Chernyshenko: ...

Of course, information security is at the top of our priorities, because the number of cyberattacks against Russia has increased by 80 percent this year. Also, compared to last year, when cyberattacks targeted mostly the financial sector, this year the public sector came under fire.

As many as 25,000-plus cyberattacks against government resources and 1,200 incidents on critical infrastructure have been successfully staved off. Clearly, the battle will continue forever, since we have cyber troops from all unfriendly countries fighting against us.
However, your instruction to set up cyber-headquarters in all bodies of executive power and all critical infrastructure locations is critically important. We continue to push back the attacks effectively.

Several information systems that are of critical importance for our country have been created, and they will determine the future of our move towards digitalisation. For example, a single biometric system was created in accordance with your executive order. Prior to that, businesses were randomly collecting fingerprints, and the public was readily making them available in exchange for access to certain buildings or car rentals. Banks were collecting fingerprints in order to open accounts and the like. The prints were stored unprotected, often on servers located outside Russia. Now, all of them will be stored in a secure Russian cloud enhanced with an initialisation vector to provide an extra layer of protection against hacking.

...

I went looking for this 'single biometric system' and I came across this transcript (that I thought was posted here somewhere but I can't seem to find it).

Artificial intelligence conference


The President took part in the main discussion on the subject of AI Technology To Address Social Issues at the AI Journey 2021, the international conference on artificial intelligence and data analysis.

November 12, 2021
19:50

Moscow

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: ...

A special decision should be made regarding information critical for citizens’ security. This concerns primarily biometric data, which are increasingly used for financial and other transactions, including for paying fares, say, in the metro as in Moscow nowadays. I think that such highly personal information must be stored in the unified state system of biometric identification, which means the state must take responsibility for storing it yet ensure free access to it for banks and other organisations, but in a fully encrypted form, which rules out any external interference and open access to one’s personal data.

Friends,

The issues of protecting personal data and digital payments and countering hidden manipulation of citizens’ preferences and actions are increasingly coming to the fore. Now it concerns not only ensuring the cybersecurity of a person but also that of their virtual double – the avatar that will live within the metaverses being established now. Their designers promise that by using these virtual worlds a person will be able to traverse space without leaving their home. I know that even those present here are dealing with these issues. All that will definitely help people to be close to other people who may even live on a different continent.

Let me remind you that the term “metaverse” was coined by a famous sci-fi writer [Neal Stephenson in his novel Snow Crash, 1991] three decades ago. According to him, people were fleeing and really found refuge there from the imperfections of the real world. However, such an approach would be too pessimistic for us today; I think we should never take this route. On the contrary, we must use the metaverse opportunities for people to be able to mix, co-work, co-study and pursue joint creative and business projects regardless of the distances between them, no matter how big.

This is a true challenge for technology companies, creative industries, for the makers of virtual and mixed reality devices. And also for lawyers who have to work out regulations for economic and public relations in a fundamentally new world, this is undoubtedly a challenge as well. Overall, the creation and application of AI technologies for the sake of society, humankind, for the preservation of our planet, for studying the world ocean and outer space – these are all truly civilisational challenges and absolutely sweeping. We can and should resolve them only by joining our efforts.

...

This idea of 'mixed reality devices' made me think of the Matrix where there are three worlds: the Matrix world, the real world and then the 'cyber world' that you only see in a very short segment where a human from the real world is 'jacked in' and guiding one of the ships into the dock. It's a world that's mimicking the Matrix world. I couldn't help but think of 4D, 3D and our infant 'metaverse'.
 

Benjamin

Dagobah Resident
Busy day for Putin. There was also a Security Council meeting but there was nothing in the transcript.


A very short transcript detailing a series of missiles, like the Yars and Sineva, being tested. Getting ready, just in case.

Supreme Commander-in-Chief held Strategic Deterrence Forces drill


Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces Vladimir Putin supervised a military exercise of the ground, naval, and air components of the Strategic Deterrence Forces, which included practice launches of ballistic and cruise missiles.

October 26, 2022
14:20

The Kremlin, Moscow

A Yars intercontinental ballistic missile and a Sineva ballistic missile were launched from the Plesetsk State Test Cosmodrome and a location in the Barents Sea, respectively, at the Kura Missile Test Range in the Kamchatka Peninsula. Tupolev Tu-95MS long-range aircraft were also employed in the missions, carrying out launches of air-based cruise missiles.

The event was held in order to test the level of preparedness of the military command and control echelons and the skills of senior and operational personnel in organising troop command and control.

The tasks set out during the drill of the Strategic Deterrence Forces were performed in full. All missiles reached their targets, confirming the rated characteristics.

This transcript is pretty much a summery of all the terrorist issues Russia and the CIS are dealing with at the moment. I got a mild sense of claustrophobia reading it.

Meeting with heads of CIS security and intelligence agencies


Vladimir Putin held a meeting, via videoconference, with participants in the session of the Council of Heads of the CIS Security and Intelligence Agencies.

October 26, 2022
14:40

The Kremlin, Moscow

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Bortnikov, colleagues,


Good afternoon.

I am happy to welcome you to Moscow for a regular meeting of the Council of Heads of the CIS Security and Intelligence Agencies.
First of all, I would like to say that over the past years the Council has become a highly popular venue for discussing a broad range of professional issues, coordinating strategic decisions on protecting our states and the Commonwealth of Independent States as a whole from internal and external threats.

Our joint efforts are especially important now. The potential for conflict remains very high both in the world as a whole and at the regional level. We see the rise of new risks and challenges to our collective security.

This is caused above all by a dramatic aggravation in global geopolitical confrontation. The world is changing and becoming multipolar before our very eyes. However, some members of the international community are doing everything in their power to preserve their faltering hegemony and to this end, they are using various political, military, economic, information and other methods and means, from destroying the legal framework of strategic stability to adopting unilateral sanctions against those who reject their policy.

They do not even stop short of openly subversive actions. I am referring to the explosions on the Nord Stream gas pipelines. This actually amounts to the destruction of the common European energy infrastructure. This is being done, although, to put it mildly, these methods are doing colossal damage to the European economy and are seriously impairing the quality of life for millions of people. And besides, they are keeping silent about who has done this and who stands to gain from it.

Some countries have long been using the tactics of blackmail, pressure and intimidation throughout the CIS space. In particular, attempts continue to be made to implement ‘colour revolution’ scenarios, methods involving nationalism and extremism are employed, and armed conflicts, which directly threaten the security of all CIS members, are being stoked.

We can see the goals of those who are doing this in Ukraine, which has been made an instrument of US foreign policy. The country has actually lost its sovereignty and is being directly governed by the United States, which is using it as a battering ram against Russia, Belarus, which is a member of our Union State, and the CSTO and the CIS in general.

At the same time, we can see the United States’ real attitude to its client states. Ukraine was almost immediately turned into a testing site for military biological experiments and is being flooded with weapons, including heavy weaponry, without any heed to the Kiev regime’s statements about its desire to obtain nuclear weapons. The Kiev authorities have declared this desire publicly, but everyone keeps silent. We also know about their plans to use a so-called “dirty bomb” as a provocation.

As for threats in the CIS space, I would like to say that the level of threat coming from ISIL, Al Qaeda and other terrorist organisations has not decreased. They are trying to infiltrate CIS countries and are creating undercover cells, while the concentration of terrorist groups in Afghanistan, especially on the borders of Central Asian states, certainly carries the potential risk of invasion in the region.

It is obvious that the CIS as a whole and its individual states have never faced such comprehensive threats before. It is therefore our common task to protect our nations from them as much as possible, to strengthen stability and peace in the CIS space and to continue to promote mutually beneficial integration processes, which have provided an example of truly partner relations over the past decades.

We must make use of all the forces and means available to us to fulfil these tasks. Of course, we must also make the fullest possible use of our experience and contacts, which, as we have seen more than once, are noticeably increasing the potential and efficiency of each of our agencies.

One of the priority tasks is to jointly counter any attempts to interfere in the internal affairs of the CIS countries. We know what this is. To resist it, we must more actively reveal and curb the work of foreign secret services, aimed at destabilising the situation in each individual CIS member-state.

It is also important to continue our coordinated systemic struggle against terrorism. Recently, there has been positive dynamics in this respect. Thus, terrorist crimes, including acts of terror have gone down in practically all CIS states.

It is necessary to continue developing counterterrorism cooperation. In particular, we must continue to exchange information on persons taking part in or suspected of terrorist and extremist activities. We must focus on revealing and blocking terrorist infiltration channels under the cover of migration flows, including the spread of foreign mercenaries with combat experience, which poses a serious threat to us.

The black market in arms operating in Ukraine is creating serious challenges. Cross-border criminal groups are actively involved in smuggling these arms to other regions. These are not just small arms. There is a persistent risk of criminals getting hold of more powerful weapons, including portable air defence systems and precision weapons.

Furthermore, the act of terror on the Crimean Bridge and sabotage attempts at the Kursk Nuclear Power Plant – after all, such attacks have already been carried out around it – and many other incidents show the need to take enhanced security measures at critical transport and energy facilities. These facilities and crowded places must be protected as reliably as possible in the first place.

Some tasks remain as urgent as before. This applies to countering cybercrime and drug trafficking, eliminating cross-border criminal groups and, of course, developing cooperation in protecting state frontiers.

I am confident that the current meeting will help us implement our common mission on enhancing the security of our countries and the CIS in general. It will certainly improve the joint activity of our secret services aimed at neutralising common threats.
Colleagues and friends,

I wish you success in your very important work that is complicated but very much in demand.

I am grateful for your attention.

Thank you.

I added this because the event's topic title as well as the annual reports title grabbed my attention.

On October 27, Vladimir Putin will attend Valdai Discussion Club meeting


On October 27, the President will attend the plenary session of the 19th annual meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club. The event's topic is A Post-Hegemonic World: Justice and Security for Everyone.

Established in 2004, the Valdai International Discussion Club has emerged as an internationally recognised platform for the world's leading experts to interact with Russian scholars, politicians and government representatives. Today, the club focuses on the research of global political and economic processes. Over the years, more than 1,000 experts from 84 countries have taken part in Valdai Club events.

This year, on the first day of the conference, the annual Valdai report, A World Without Superpowers, was presented. The underlying idea of the report, proposed by the Valdai Club research team, suggests that the very concept of a superpower will eventually become a thing of the past.

As a major international intellectual platform in Russia, the Valdai Club has always tried to identify the root causes of what is happening in the world. Today, the importance of the Valdai Club’s annual meetings has only increased.

In a situation where the global information landscape has turned into an arena of confrontation, the role of expert discussion that goes beyond the information war is greater than ever. This year, forum organisers also tried to provide answers to its foreign participants about the causes and consequences of the events taking place in Russian-Ukrainian relations.

This year's Valdai Club meeting will be attended by 111 experts, politicians, diplomats and economists from 41 countries. The new geopolitical situation and changes in Russia's partnership system have affected the geographical representation of the invitees to the 2022 edition of the event. The Middle East and North Africa, Asia, Latin America, Africa and the CIS are much more widely represented this year. However, representatives of several Western countries are also taking part in the meeting.

Vladimir Putin's meetings with these experts have become a tradition since the club's inception. The plenary session, including the President’s address, has become the culmination of each annual meeting. The event will also include a discussion moderated by Fyodor Lukyanov.

From the Valdai Club, here is the main page of the World Without Superpowers report. In case there are some who cannot access it, I've also included the annual report pdf. (I've only read parts of this so far.)

I find it interesting that "The End of History" author Fyodor Lukyanov will hold a discussion at the event. His book was used as the backbone of the recent speech by Chrystia Freeland at the Brookings Institute.


(Emphases theirs)
World politics has begun to rapidly return to a state of anarchy built on force.3 “The end of history” culminated in the restoration of its usual course – the destruction of the international order resulting from large- scale conflicts between centres of power.

When one’s gloomiest predictions turn out to be the most accurate, this is bound to cause mixed feelings. The satisfaction of being proved prescient is offset by the reality of a more alarming future. Since 2018, the Valdai Club has been warning that processes leading to the total collapse of the global political and economic system are accelerating, while the international order that developed as a set of institutions in the latter half of the 20th century and persisted into the current century, is becoming increasingly deformed.

The crisis of globalisation as a universal framework for global development started in the 2000s. The pandemic proved that globalisation, as it was understood in th1980s, was quite reversible. The military-political crisis that broke out in Europe in 2022 – an extremely dangerous and almost unpredictable relapse into rivalry between the major superpowers – has impacted most of the world in one way or another. It also signals the end of the model of relations in which the “blessing” of mutual dependence was a bedrock assumption.

A military conflict as a driving force of development means a return to the era before superpowerdom. However, the former practice of continuously “debugging” the balance of power will not be restored, if only because the multitude of players and power dynamics are making it practically impossible to establish a balance in the first place.

The extent to which different players are involved in the current international cataclysm vary. Many are trying to safely distance themselves from the fierce confrontation between Russia and the US-led collective West, for which Ukraine was a pretext. However, nobody has any doubts that what is happening now is not simply a regional conflict or even a dispute to determine which of the main players will occupy a higher place in the international hierarchy. The main question is whether this hierarchy will be preserved at all in the form we are accustomed to, and if so, how it will be constituted.

The current state of affairs is marked by the fact that the United States and its allies, in fact, no longer enjoy the status of dominant superpower, but the global infrastructure that serves it is still in place.

The direct causes of the acute international security problems confronting the world exceed the scope of this report, as do predictions of the final outcome, which would be woefully premature in any case. However, we can be so bold as to imagine which principles may form the foundation of a future system of global co-existence and which will rightfully be relegated to the past. A new system is bound to take shape in a future stage of global politics, even if this is unlikely to happen any time soon.
 

Attachments

  • Valdai Annual Report - 2022.pdf
    1.2 MB · Views: 2

Tuatha de Danaan

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I added this because the event's topic title as well as the annual reports title grabbed my attention.
Thanks for the attachment Benjamin which proved a very interesting read. My reading of the article was an explanation of the growing pains to be expected as the old system "rules based order" collapses and multipolarity develops. Will we be here long enough to see this happening or will the Universe step in and decide for us.

We in the West for most or all of our lives were and are used to a certain quality of life. Other qualities exist however and we are about to experience them whether we want to or not.

I'm constantly swinging from panic and horror to a sense of calm and acceptance and at times wanting to just stop thinking about anything. Sitting back and enjoying the show will take a while longer until I really get my ego under control.
 

Benjamin

Dagobah Resident
Once again, Putin makes another fantastic speech, this time at the Valdi International Discussion Club, a Moscow based think tank named after Lake Valdi, Novgorod. There is a whole Q&A section that followed but it has not been completely transcribed yet.



Valdai International Discussion Club meeting


The President took part in the final plenary session of the 19th meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club.

October 27, 2022
20:55

Moscow Region

The theme of this year's forum is A Post-Hegemonic World: Justice and Security for Everyone. The four day-long meeting brought together 111 experts, politicians, diplomats and economists from Russia and 40 foreign countries, including Afghanistan, Brazil, China, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kazakhstan, South Africa, Turkiye, the United States, and Uzbekistan, to name a few.

* * *

Moderator of the Valdai Club’s plenary session Fyodor Lukyanov: Good afternoon, Mr President,

We look forward to seeing you every year, but this year, perhaps, we were more impatient than usual, since there are lots of issues to discuss.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: I suppose so, yes.

Fyodor Lukyanov: The forum mainly focused on matters related to the international order, such as how the world is changing and, most importantly, who, in fact, is at the helm of the world, who runs it, and whether the world is amenable to being run at all.

However, we are discussing this as observers, but you have power, so please share your thoughts with us.

Vladimir Putin: Thank you very much.

Ladies and gentlemen, friends,

I had a chance to get a sense of what you discussed here during the last few days. It was an interesting and substantive discussion. I hope you do not regret coming to Russia and communicating with each other.

I am happy to see you all.

We have used the Valdai Club platform to discuss, more than once, the major and serious shifts that have already taken place and are taking place around the world, the risks posed by the degradation of global institutions, the erosion of collective security principles and the substitution of “rules” for international law. I was tempted to say “we are clear about who came up with these rules,” but, perhaps, that would not be an accurate statement. We have no idea whatsoever who made these rules up, what these rules are based on, or what is contained inside these rules.

It looks like we are witnessing an attempt to enforce just one rule whereby those in power – we were talking about power, and I am now talking about global power – could live without following any rules at all and could get away with anything. These are the rules that we hear them constantly, as people say, harping on, that is, talking about them incessantly.

The Valdai discussions are important because a variety of assessments and forecasts can be heard here. Life always shows how accurate they were, since life is the sternest and the most objective teacher. So, life shows how accurate our previous years’ projections were.

Alas, events continue to follow a negative scenario, which we have discussed more than once during our previous meetings. Moreover, they have morphed into a major system-wide crisis that impacted, in addition to the military-political sphere, the economic and humanitarian spheres as well.

The so-called West which is, of course, a theoretical construct since it is not united and clearly is a highly complex conglomerate, but I will still say that the West has taken a number of steps in recent years and especially in recent months that are designed to escalate the situation. As a matter of fact, they always seek to aggravate matters, which is nothing new, either. This includes the stoking of war in Ukraine, the provocations around Taiwan, and the destabilisation of the global food and energy markets. To be sure, the latter was, of course, not done on purpose, there is no doubt about it. The destabilisation of the energy market resulted from a number of systemic missteps made by the Western authorities that I mentioned above. As we can see now, the situation was further aggravated by the destruction of the pan-European gas pipelines. This is something otherworldly altogether, but we are nevertheless witnessing these sad developments.

Global power is exactly what the so-called West has at stake in its game. But this game is certainly dangerous, bloody and, I would say, dirty. It denies the sovereignty of countries and peoples, their identity and uniqueness, and tramples upon other states’ interests. In any case, even if denial is not the word used, they are doing it in real life. No one, except those who create these rules I have mentioned is entitled to retain their identity: everyone else must comply with these rules.

In this regard, let me remind you of Russia's proposals to our Western partners to build confidence and a collective security system. They were once again tossed in December 2021.

However, sitting things out can hardly work in the modern world. He who sows the wind will reap the whirlwind, as the saying goes. The crisis has indeed taken on a global dimension and has impacted everyone. There can be no illusions about this.

Humankind is at a fork in the road: either keep accumulating problems and eventually get crushed under their weight, or work together to find solutions – even imperfect ones, as long as they work – that can make our world a more stable and safer place.

You know, I have always believed in the power of common sense. Therefore, I am convinced that sooner or later both the new centres of the multipolar international order and the West will have to start a dialogue on an equal footing about a common future for us all, and the sooner the better, of course. In this regard, I will highlight some of the most important aspects for all of us.

Current developments have overshadowed environmental issues. Strange as it may seem, this is what I would like to speak about first today. Climate change no longer tops the agenda. But that fundamental challenge has not gone away, it is still with us, and it is growing.

The loss of biodiversity is one of the most dangerous consequences of disrupting the environmental balance. This brings me to the key point all of us have gathered here for. Is it not equally important to maintain cultural, social, political and civilisational diversity?

At the same time, the smoothing out and erasure of all and any differences is essentially what the modern West is all about. What stands behind this? First of all, it is the decaying creative potential of the West and a desire to restrain and block the free development of other civilisations.


There is also an openly mercantile interest, of course. By imposing their values, consumption habits and standardisation on others, our opponents – I will be careful with words – are trying to expand markets for their products. The goal on this track is, ultimately, very primitive. It is notable that the West proclaims the universal value of its culture and worldview. Even if they do not say so openly, which they actually often do, they behave as if this is so, that it is a fact of life, and the policy they pursue is designed to show that these values must be unconditionally accepted by all other members of the international community.

I would like to quote from Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s famous Harvard Commencement Address delivered in 1978. He said that typical of the West is “a continuous blindness of superiority”– and it continues to this day – which “upholds the belief that vast regions everywhere on our planet should develop and mature to the level of present-day Western systems.” He said this in 1978. Nothing has changed.

Over the nearly 50 years since then, the blindness about which Solzhenitsyn spoke and which is openly racist and neocolonial, has acquired especially distorted forms, in particular, after the emergence of the so-called unipolar world. What am I referring to? Belief in one’s infallibility is very dangerous; it is only one step away from the desire of the infallible to destroy those they do not like, or as they say, to cancel them. Just think about the meaning of this word.

Even at the very peak of the Cold War, the peak of the confrontation of the two systems, ideologies and military rivalry, it did not occur to anyone to deny the very existence of the culture, art, and science of other peoples, their opponents. It did not even occur to anyone. Yes, certain restrictions were imposed on contacts in education, science, culture, and, unfortunately, sports. But nonetheless, both the Soviet and American leaders understood that it was necessary to treat the humanitarian area tactfully, studying and respecting your rival, and sometimes even borrowing from them in order to retain a foundation for sound, productive relations at least for the future.

And what is happening now? At one time, the Nazis reached the point of burning books, and now the Western “guardians of liberalism and progress” have reached the point of banning Dostoyevsky and Tchaikovsky. The so-called “cancel culture” and in reality – as we said many times – the real cancellation of culture is eradicating everything that is alive and creative and stifles free thought in all areas, be it economics, politics or culture.

Today, liberal ideology itself has changed beyond recognition. If initially, classic liberalism was understood to mean the freedom of every person to do and say as they pleased. In the 20th century the liberals started saying that the so-called open society had enemies and that the freedom of these enemies could and should be restricted if not cancelled. It has reached the absurd point where any alternative opinion is declared subversive propaganda and a threat to democracy.

Whatever comes from Russia is all branded as “Kremlin intrigues.” But look at yourselves. Are we really so all-powerful? Any criticism of our opponents – any – is perceived as “Kremlin intrigues,” “the hand of the Kremlin.” This is insane. What have you sunk to? Use your brain, at least, say something more interesting, lay out your viewpoint conceptually. You cannot blame everything on the Kremlin’s scheming.

Fyodor Dostoyevsky prophetically foretold all this back in the 19th century. One of the characters of his novel Demons, the nihilist Shigalev, described the bright future he imagined in the following way: “Emerging from boundless freedom, I conclude with boundless despotism.” This is what our Western opponents have come to. Another character of the novel, Pyotr Verkhovensky echoes him, talking about the need for universal treason, reporting and spying, and claiming that society does not need talents or greater abilities: “Cicero’s tongue is cut out, Copernicus has his eyes gouged out and Shakespeare is stoned.” This is what our Western opponents are arriving at. What is this if not Western cancel culture?


These were great thinkers and, frankly, I am grateful to my aides for finding these quotes.

What can one say to this? History will certainly put everything in its place and will know whom to cancel, and it will definitely not be the greatest works of universally recognised geniuses of world culture, but those who have for some reason decided that they have the right to use world culture as they see fit. Their self-regard really knows no bounds. No one will even remember their names in a few years. But Dostoevsky will live on, as will Tchaikovsky, Pushkin, no matter how much they would have liked the opposite.

Standardisation, financial and technological monopoly, the erasure of all differences is what underlies the Western model of globalisation, which is neocolonial in nature. Their goal was clear – to establish the unconditional dominance of the West in the global economy and politics. To do that, the West put at its service the entire planet’s natural and financial resources, as well as all intellectual, human and economic capabilities, while alleging it was a natural feature of the so-called new global interdependence.

Here I would like to recall another Russian philosopher, Alexander Zinoviev, whose birth centenary we will celebrate on October 29. More than 20 years ago, he said that Western civilisation needed the entire planet as a medium of existence and all the resources of humanity to survive at the level it had reached. That is what they want, that is exactly how it is.

Moreover, the West initially secured itself a huge head start in that system because it had developed the principles and mechanisms – the same as today’s rules they keep talking about, which remain an incomprehensible black hole because no one really knows what they are. But as soon as non-western countries began to derive some benefits from globalisation, above all, the large nations in Asia, the West immediately changed or fully abolished many of those rules. And the so-called sacred principles of free trade, economic openness, equal competition, even property rights were suddenly forgotten, completely. They change the rules on the go, on the spot wherever they see an opportunity for themselves.

Here is another example of the substitution of concepts and meanings. For many years, Western ideologists and politicians have been telling the world there was no alternative to democracy. Admittedly, they meant the Western-style, the so-called liberal model of democracy. They arrogantly rejected all other variants and forms of government by the people and, I want to emphasise this, did so contemptuously and disdainfully. This manner has been taking shape since colonial times, as if everyone were second-rate, while they were exceptional. It has been going on for centuries and continues to this day.


So currently, an overwhelming majority of the international community is demanding democracy in international affairs and rejecting all forms of authoritarian dictate by individual countries or groups of countries. What is this if not the direct application of democratic principles to international relations?

What stance has the “civilised” West adopted? If you are democrats, you are supposed to welcome the natural desire for freedom expressed by billions of people, but no. The West is calling it undermining the liberal rules-based order. It is resorting to economic and trade wars, sanctions, boycotts and colour revolutions, and preparing and carrying out all sorts of coups.

One of them led to tragic consequences in Ukraine in 2014. They supported it and even specified the amount of money they had spent on this coup. They have the cheek to act as they please and have no scruples about anything they do. They killed Soleimani, an Iranian general. You can think whatever you want about Soleimani, but he was a foreign state official. They killed him in a third country and assumed responsibility. What is that supposed to mean, for crying out loud? What kind of world are we living in?

As is customary, Washington continues to refer to the current international order as liberal American-style, but in fact, this notorious “order” is multiplying chaos every day and, I might even add, is becoming increasingly intolerant even towards the Western countries and their attempts to act independently. Everything is nipped in the bud, and they do not even hesitate to impose sanctions on their allies, who lower their heads in acquiescence.

For example, the Hungarian MPs’ July proposals to codify the commitment to European Christian values and culture in the Treaty on European Union were taken not even as an affront, but as an outright and hostile act of sabotage. What is that? What does it mean? Indeed, some people may like it, some not.

Over a thousand years, Russia has developed a unique culture of interaction between all world religions. There is no need to cancel anything, be it Christian values, Islamic values or Jewish values. We have other world religions as well. All you need to do is respect each other. In a number of our regions – I just know this firsthand – people celebrate Christian, Islamic, Buddhist and Jewish holidays together, and they enjoy doing so as they congratulate each other and are happy for each other.

But not here. Why not? At least, they could discuss it. Amazing.

Without exaggeration, this is not even a systemic, but a doctrinal crisis of the neoliberal American-style model of international order. They have no ideas for progress and positive development. They simply have nothing to offer the world, except perpetuating their dominance.

I am convinced that real democracy in a multipolar world is primarily about the ability of any nation – I emphasise – any society or any civilisation to follow its own path and organise its own socio-political system. If the United States or the EU countries enjoy this right, then the countries of Asia, the Islamic states, the monarchies of the Persian Gulf, and countries on other continents certainly have this right as well. Of course, our country, Russia, also has this right, and no one will ever be able to tell our people what kind of society we should be building and what principles should underlie it.

A direct threat to the political, economic and ideological monopoly of the West lies in the fact that the world can come up with alternative social models that are more effective; I want to emphasise this, more effective today, brighter and more appealing than the ones that currently exist. These models will definitely come about. This is inevitable. By the way, US political scientists and analysts also write about this. Truthfully, their government is not listening to what they say, although it cannot avoid seeing these concepts in political science magazines and mentioned in discussions.

Development should rely on a dialogue between civilisations and spiritual and moral values. Indeed, understanding what humans and their nature are all about varies across civilisations, but this difference is often superficial, and everyone recognises the ultimate dignity and spiritual essence of people. A common foundation on which we can and must build our future is critically important.

Here is something I would like to emphasise. Traditional values are not a rigid set of postulates that everyone must adhere to, of course not. The difference from the so-called neo-liberal values is that they are unique in each particular instance, because they stem from the traditions of a particular society, its culture and historical background. This is why traditional values cannot be imposed on anyone. They must simply be respected and everything that every nation has been choosing for itself over centuries must be handled with care.

This is how we understand traditional values, and the majority of humanity share and accept our approach. This is understandable, because the traditional societies of the East, Latin America, Africa, and Eurasia form the basis of world civilisation.

Respect for the ways and customs of peoples and civilisations is in everyone’s interest. In fact, this is also in the interest of the “West,” which is quickly becoming a minority in the international arena as it loses its dominance. Of course, the Western minority’s right to its own cultural identity – I want to emphasise this – must be ensured and respected, but, importantly, on an equal footing with the rights of every other nation.

If the Western elites believe they can have their people and their societies embrace what I believe are strange and trendy ideas like dozens of genders or gay pride parades, so be it. Let them do as they please. But they certainly have no right to tell others to follow in their steps.


We see the complicated demographic, political and social processes taking place in Western countries. This is, of course, their own business. Russia does not interfere in such matters and has no intention of doing so. Unlike the West, we mind our own business. But we are hoping that pragmatism will triumph and Russia’s dialogue with the genuine, traditional West, as well as with other coequal development centres, will become a major contribution to the construction of a multipolar world order.

I will add that multipolarity is a real and, actually, the only chance for Europe to restore its political and economic identity. To tell the truth – and this idea is expressed explicitly in Europe today – Europe’s legal capacity is very limited. I tried to put it mildly not to offend anyone.

The world is diverse by nature and Western attempts to squeeze everyone into the same pattern are clearly doomed. Nothing will come out of them.

The conceited aspiration to achieve global supremacy and, essentially, to dictate or preserve leadership by dictate is really reducing the international prestige of the leaders of the Western world, including the United States, and increasing mistrust in their ability to negotiate in general. They say one thing today and another tomorrow; they sign documents and renounce them, they do what they want. There is no stability in anything. How documents are signed, what was discussed, what can we hope for – all this is completely unclear.

Previously, only a few countries dared argue with America and it looked almost sensational, whereas now it has become routine for all manner of states to reject Washington’s unfounded demands despite its continued attempts to exert pressure on everyone. This is a mistaken policy that leads nowhere. But let them, this is also their choice.

I am convinced that the nations of the world will not shut their eyes to a policy of coercion that has discredited itself. Every time the West will have to pay a higher price for its attempts to preserve its hegemony. If I were a Western elite, I would seriously ponder this prospect. As I said, some political scientists and politicians in the United States are already thinking about it.

In the current conditions of intense conflict, I will be direct about certain things. As an independent and distinctive civilization, Russia has never considered and does not consider itself an enemy of the West. Americophobia, Anglophobia, Francophobia, and Germanophobia are the same forms of racism as Russophobia or anti-Semitism, and, incidentally, xenophobia in all its guises.

It is simply necessary to understand clearly that, as I have already said before, two Wests – at least two and maybe more but two at least – the West of traditional, primarily Christian values, freedom, patriotism, great culture and now Islamic values as well – a substantial part of the population in many Western countries follows Islam. This West is close to us in something. We share with it common, even ancient roots. But there is also a different West – aggressive, cosmopolitan, and neocolonial. It is acting as a tool of neoliberal elites. Naturally, Russia will never reconcile itself to the dictates of this West.

In 2000, after I was elected President, I will always remember what I faced: I will remember the price we paid for destroying the den of terrorism in the North Caucasus, which the West almost openly supported at the time. We are all adults here; most of you present in this hall understand what I am talking about. We know that this is exactly what happened in practice: financial, political and information support. We have all lived through it.

What is more, not only did the West actively support terrorists on Russian territory, but in many ways it nurtured this threat. We know this. Nevertheless, after the situation had stabilised, when the main terrorist gangs had been defeated, including thanks to the bravery of the Chechen people, we decided not to turn back, not to play the offended, but to move forward, to build relations even with those who actually acted against us, to establish and develop relations with all who wanted them, based on mutual benefit and respect for one another.

We thought it was in everyone’s interest. Russia, thank God, had survived all the difficulties of that time, stood firm, grew stronger, was able to cope with internal and external terrorism, its economy was preserved, it began to develop, and its defence capability began to improve. We tried to build up relations with the leading countries of the West and with NATO. The message was the same: let us stop being enemies, let us live together as friends, let us engage in dialogue, let us build trust, and, hence, peace. We were absolutely sincere, I want to emphasise that. We clearly understood the complexity of this rapprochement, but we agreed to it.

What did we get in response? In short, we got a ”no“ in all the main areas of possible cooperation. We received an ever-increasing pressure on us and hotbeds of tension near our borders. And what, may I ask, is the purpose of this pressure? What is it? Is it just to practice? Of course not. The goal was to make Russia more vulnerable. The purpose is to turn Russia into a tool to achieve their own geopolitical goals.

As a matter of fact, this is a universal rule: they try to turn everyone into a tool, in order to use these tools for their own purposes. And those who do not yield to this pressure, who do not want to be such a tool are sanctioned: all sorts of economic restrictions are carried out against them and in relation of them, coups are prepared or where possible carried out and so on. And in the end, if nothing at all can be done, the aim is the same: to destroy them, to wipe them off the political map. But it has not and will never be possible to draft and implement such a scenario with respect to Russia.

What else can I add? Russia is not challenging the Western elites. Russia is simply upholding its right to exist and to develop freely. Importantly, we will not become a new hegemon ourselves. Russia is not suggesting replacing a unipolar world with a bipolar, tripolar or other dominating order, or replacing Western domination with domination from the East, North or South. This would inevitably lead to another impasse.

At this point, I would like to cite the words of the great Russian philosopher Nikolai Danilevsky. He believed that progress did not consist of everyone going in the same direction, as some of our opponents seem to want. This would only result in progress coming to a halt, Danilevsky said. Progress lies in “walking the field that represents humanity’s historical activity, walking in all directions,” he said, adding that no civilisation can take pride in being the height of development.


I am convinced that dictatorship can only be countered through free development of countries and peoples; the degradation of the individual can be set off by the love of a person as a creator; primitive simplification and prohibition can be replaced with the flourishing complexity of culture and tradition.

The significance of today’s historical moment lies in the opportunities for everyone’s democratic and distinct development path, which is opening up before all civilisations, states and integration associations. We believe above all that the new world order must be based on law and right, and must be free, distinctive and fair.

The world economy and trade also need to become fairer and more open. Russia considers the creation of new international financial platforms inevitable; this includes international transactions. These platforms should be above national jurisdictions. They should be secure, depoliticized and automated and should not depend on any single control centre. Is it possible to do this or not? Of course it is possible. This will require a lot of effort. Many countries will have to pool their efforts, but it is possible.

This rules out the possibility of abuse in a new global financial infrastructure. It would make it possible to conduct effective, beneficial and secure international transactions without the dollar or any of the so-called reserve currencies. This is all the more important, now that the dollar is being used as a weapon; the United States, and the West in general, have discredited the institution of international financial reserves. First, they devalued it with inflation in the dollar and euro zones and then they took our gold-and-currency reserves.

The transition to transactions in national currencies will quickly gain momentum. This is inevitable. Of course, it depends on the status of the issuers of these currencies and the state of their economies, but they will be growing stronger, and these transactions are bound to gradually prevail over the others. Such is the logic of a sovereign economic and financial policy in a multipolar world.

Furthermore, new global development centres are already using unmatched technology and research in various fields and can successfully compete with Western transnational companies in many areas.

Clearly, we have a common and very pragmatic interest in free and open scientific and technological exchange. United, we stand to win more than if we act separately. The majority should benefit from these exchanges, not individual super-rich corporations.

How are things going today? If the West is selling medicines or crop seeds to other countries, it tells them to kill their national pharmaceutical industries and selection. In fact, it all comes down to this: its machine tool and equipment supplies destroy the local engineering industry. I realised this back when I served as Prime Minister. Once you open your market to a certain product group, the local manufacturer instantly goes belly up and it is almost impossible for him to raise his head. That’s how they build relationships. That’s how they take over markets and resources, and countries lose their technological and scientific potential. This is not progress; it is enslavement and reducing economies to primitive levels.


Technological development should not increase global inequality, but rather reduce it. This is how Russia has traditionally implemented its foreign technology policy. For example, when we build nuclear power plants in other countries, we create competence centres and train local personnel. We create an industry. We don’t just build a plant, we create an entire industry. In fact, we give other countries a chance to break new ground in their scientific and technological development, reduce inequality, and bring their energy sector to new levels of efficiency and environmental friendliness.

Let me emphasise again that sovereignty and a unique path of development in no way mean isolation or autarky. On the contrary, they are about energetic and mutually beneficial cooperation based on the principles of fairness and equality.

If liberal globalisation is about depersonalising and imposing the Western model on the entire world, integration is, in contrast, about tapping the potential of each civilisation for everyone to benefit. If globalism is dictate – which is what it comes down to eventually, – integration is a team effort to develop common strategies that everyone can benefit from.

In this regard, Russia believes it is important to make wider use of mechanisms for creating large spaces that rely on interaction between neighbouring countries, whose economies and social systems, as well as resource bases and infrastructure, complement each other. In fact, these large spaces form the economic basis of a multipolar world order. Their dialogue gives rise to genuine unity in humanity, which is much more complex, unique and multidimensional than the simplistic ideas professed by some Western masterminds.

Unity among humankind cannot be created by issuing commands such as “do as I do” or “be like us.” It is created with consideration for everyone’s opinion and with a careful approach to the identity of every society and every nation. This is the principle that can underlie long-term cooperation in a multipolar world.

In this regard, it may be worth revising the structure of the United Nations, including its Security Council, to better reflect the world’s diversity. After all, much more will depend on Asia, Africa, and Latin America in tomorrow’s world than is commonly believed today, and this increase in their influence is undoubtedly a positive development.

Let me recall that the Western civilisation is not the only one even in our common Eurasian space. Moreover, the majority of the population is concentrated in the east of Eurasia, where the centres of the oldest human civilisations emerged.

The value and importance of Eurasia lies in the fact that it represents a self-sufficient complex possessing huge resources of all kinds and tremendous opportunities. The more we work on increasing the connectivity of Eurasia and creating new ways and forms of cooperation, the more impressive achievements we make.

The successful performance of the Eurasian Economic Union, the fast growth of the authority and prestige of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, the large-scale One Belt, One Road initiatives, plans for multilateral cooperation in building the North-South transport corridor and many other projects, are the beginning of a new era, new stage in the development of Eurasia. I am confident of this. Integration projects there do not contradict but supplement each other – of course, if they are carried out by neighbouring countries in their own interests rather than introduced by outside forces with the aim of splitting the Eurasian space and turning it into a zone of bloc confrontation.

Europe, the Western extremity of the Greater Eurasia could also become its natural part. But many of its leaders are hampered by the conviction that the Europeans are superior to others, that it is beneath them to take part as equals in undertakings with others. This arrogance prevents them from seeing that they have themselves become a foreign periphery and actually turned into vassals, often without the right to vote.

Colleagues,

The collapse of the Soviet Union upset the equilibrium of the geopolitical forces. The West felt as a winner and declared a unipolar world arrangement, in which only its will, culture and interests had the right to exist.

Now this historical period of boundless Western domination in world affairs is coming to an end. The unipolar world is being relegated into the past. We are at a historical crossroads. We are in for probably the most dangerous, unpredictable and at the same time most important decade since the end of World War II. The West is unable to rule humanity single-handedly and the majority of nations no longer want to put up with this. This is the main contradiction of the new era. To cite a classic, this is a revolutionary situation to some extent – the elites cannot and the people do not want to live like that any longer.

This state of affairs is fraught with global conflicts or a whole chain of conflicts, which poses a threat to humanity, including the West itself. Today’s main historical task is to resolve this contradiction in a way that is constructive and positive.

The change of eras is a painful albeit natural and inevitable process. A future world arrangement is taking shape before our eyes. In this world arrangement, we must listen to everyone, consider every opinion, every nation, society, culture and every system of world outlooks, ideas and religious concepts, without imposing a single truth on anyone. Only on this foundation, understanding our responsibility for the destinies of nations and our planet, shall we create a symphony of human civilisation.

At this point, I would like to finish my remarks with expressing gratitude for the patience that you displayed while listening to them.

Thank you very much.
 

Benjamin

Dagobah Resident
Here is the Q&A section with "The End of History" author Fyodor Lukyanov as moderator. I've removed some sections to keep it under the 64,000 character limit.

Here is the entire 4:24:01 video.



...

A comparison between political changes and earthquakes.
Fyodor Lukyanov: I see.

Last time we met exactly a year ago. The international environment was already tense, but when we look at last October compared to this one, it seems like an idyllic time. Much has changed over the past year, the world has literally turned upside down, as some say. For you personally, what has changed over this year, in your perception of the world and the country?

Vladimir Putin: What was happening and what is happening now, say, as related to Ukraine, these are not changes that are happening just now or that began after the launch of Russia’s special military operation, no. All these changes have been happening for many years; some pay attention to them, others do not, but these are tectonic changes in the entire world order.

You know, these tectonic plates, they are in constant movement somewhere down there in the Earth’s crust. Experts say that they are moving now, and are always in motion yet everything seems quiet, but changes are still happening. And then, they collide. Energy accumulates and when the plates shift, this causes an earthquake. The accumulation of this energy and its outburst have led to these current events.

But they have always happened. What is the essence of these events? New centres of power are emerging. I constantly say, and not only me, is it really about me? They happen because of objective circumstances. Some of the previous centres of power are fading. I have no desire to talk now about why it happens, but it is a natural process of growth, decay, and change. New centres of power are emerging, mainly in Asia, of course. Africa is also taking the lead. Yes, Africa is still a very poor continent, but look at its colossal potential. Latin America. All these countries will definitely keep developing, and these tectonic changes will keep happening.

We did not bring about the current situation, the West did… If you have more questions, I can go back to discussing the developments in Ukraine. Did we carry out the coup, which led to a series of tragic events, including our special military operation? No, we did not.

But what really matters is that tectonic shifts are taking place now and will continue to take place. Our actions have nothing to do with that. Indeed, the ongoing events highlight and promote the processes that are picking up pace and unfolding more quickly than they did before. But in general, they are inevitable, and would have taken place regardless of Russia’s actions towards Ukraine.


Fyodor Lukyanov: Speaking about the state, have you learned anything new about it over the past year?

Vladimir Putin: You know, as far as the state is concerned… Of course, we have incurred costs, above all, losses associated with the special military operation, which I keep thinking about all the time, and there are economic losses as well. But there are enormous acquisitions and what is happening now, will, without any doubt, ultimately – I want to emphasise this – will ultimately be beneficial for Russia and its future.

What are these acquisitions about? They are about the strengthening of our sovereignty across all areas, primarily, in the economic sphere. Not long ago, we ourselves were concerned about our becoming some kind of semi-colony where we are unable to do anything without our Western partners. We cannot perform financial transactions, we have no access to technology and markets, or sources for acquiring the latest technology. Nothing. All they need to do is snap their fingers for all that we have to fall apart. But no, nothing fell apart, and the basis of the Russian economy and the Russian Federation turned out to be much stronger than anyone may have thought, maybe even ourselves.

This is an act of purification and understanding of our capabilities, the ability to quickly regroup given the circumstances and the objective need not only to speed up the import substitution processes, but also to replace those who are leaving our market. It turned out that in most areas our businesses are replacing those that are leaving. Those who depart are whispering in our ear: we are leaving for a short while and will be back soon. Well, how are they going to accomplish that? They are selling multibillion-dollar properties for just one dollar. Why? They are reselling them to the management. What does this mean? It means they have reached an agreement with the management that they will return. What else could it be? Are they gifting these businesses to two or three individuals? Of course, not. We know this sentiment.

So, this is critically important. We ourselves have finally realised – we keep saying that we are a great country – we have now realised that we are indeed a great country and we can do it.

We are fully aware of the mid-term consequences of cutting access to technology. But we did not have access to the critical technology anyway. The COCOM lists that have been in force for decades appear to have been cancelled. Now, they have tightened the screws, but it turned out what we are getting by, nonetheless.

Another important component, this time of a spiritual nature, which is, perhaps, the most important part. First, this motto – we leave no one behind – actually sits deep in the heart of every Russian and in the other ethnic groups who are Russian citizens, and the willingness to fight for our own people solidifies society. This has always been the great strength of our country. We confirmed and reinforced it, which is the most important thing.

Fyodor Lukyanov: Has any event in Russia caused your disappointment this year?

Vladimir Putin: No.

Fyodor Lukyanov: So, we do not need to draw conclusions and make any particular changes?

Vladimir Putin: It is always necessary to draw conclusions. If you are referring to a personnel reshuffle, it is a natural process. We must always think about renewal in different areas, train new personnel, and promote those who can deal with bigger tasks than those they dealt with before. Of course, this is a natural process. However, I cannot say that somebody has disappointed me or should be dismissed. No, of course, not.

There was a larger summery of the Ukraine events beginning from 2014 which I omitted but I kept this line:
Vladimir Putin: ... It is one thing when the media and the internet are used to plant some idea in the heads of millions, but real actions and practical policy are quite another matter. ...

...

Putin gives a history lesson.
Fyodor Lukyanov: You have repeatedly said and written in your policy article that we are one people. Have you changed your mind after a year?

Vladimir Putin: No, of course not. And how can this be changed? This is a historical fact.

Russian statehood became established on our territories in the 9th century, first in Novgorod, then in Kiev, and then they grew together. It is one nation. People spoke the same language, Old Russian, and changes only started to emerge, I believe, in the 14th or 15th century under Poland’s influence because the western areas of the Russian state became parts of other countries. This is where changes came from.

Of course, I have already said that every ethnicity goes through different processes in its development. If part of this ethnicity decides at a certain point that it has achieved a level when it becomes a different ethnicity, one can only respect it, of course.

But this process did not happen all on its own. First of all, as I said, it happened because some of Old Russian lands in the west became parts of other states, for a whole number of reasons.

Those states started promoting their interests. The lands that became part of Poland experienced a strong Polish influence, and so on. The language started to change. I already said that, when Ukraine was joining Russia, letters were written to Warsaw and Moscow. We have archives. Those letters said: “We, Russian Orthodox Christians, would like to address you with the following matter…” They asked Moscow to accept them into Russia and asked Poland to consider their interests and their Orthodox Christian customs. And yet, they called themselves “Russian Orthodox Christians.” I did not make this up. It was part of the nation that we now call Ukrainians.

Yes, then everything started happening according to its own laws. An enormous Russian Empire was built. European countries tried and partially succeeded in creating a barrier between Europe and the Russian Empire using the principle known since the ancient times: divide and conquer. They started making attempts to divide the united Russian nation. It began in the 19th century and eventually grew to a bigger scale, supported mainly by the West. Of course, they tried to cultivate certain sentiments in people and some even liked it, when it comes to historical and language aspects.

Of course, those sentiments were exploited exactly for the purpose I mentioned, to divide and conquer. It is nothing out of the ordinary but they certainly achieved some of their goals. And subsequently, it actually grew into cooperation with Hitler during WWII, when Ukrainian collaborators were used in campaigns to exterminate Russians, Poles, Jews and Belarusians. It is a well-known historical fact: killing squads assigned Bandera followers with the dirtiest and bloodiest jobs. It is all part of our history. But it is also a historical fact that Russians and Ukrainians are essentially one ethnicity.

Fyodor Lukyanov: So what we are witnessing is a civil war with a portion of our own people.

Vladimir Putin: Partly, yes. Unfortunately, we ended up in different states for a number of reasons. Above all, because when they were creating the Soviet Union after the collapse of the [Russian] empire – I have covered this in my articles and mentioned it publicly more than once – the Bolshevik leadership at the time decided – in order to appease the nationalist-minded Bolsheviks originally from Ukraine – to give them some originally Russian historical lands without asking the people who lived there. They let them have all of Malorossiya (Little Russia), the entire Black Sea region, and all of Donbass. At first, they decided to make Donbass part of Russia, but then a delegation from Ukraine came to see Vladimir Lenin who then summoned a representative from Donbass and told him the Donbass matter should be reconsidered, and it was, with the Donbass going to Ukraine.

In this sense, Ukraine, of course, is an artificially created state. All the more so as after WWII – this is also a historical fact – Stalin suddenly made several Polish, Hungarian, and Romanian territories part of Ukraine, thus taking these lands away from these countries. He gave the Poles, who were not part of the Nazi coalition, some of the eastern German lands. These are well-known historical facts. This is how today’s Ukraine was created.

I just had a thought that, in fairness, Russia, which created today's Ukraine, could have been the only real and serious guarantor of Ukraine’s statehood, sovereignty, and territorial integrity.

...

Putin addresses the nuclear question, nuclear power plants and the dirty bomb. A classic Western response shared here is hilariously bonkers.
Ivan Safranchuk: Ivan Safranchuk, MGIMO University.
...
Mr President, could you please comment, is it true that the world is on the verge of the possible use of nuclear weapons? How will Russia act in these circumstances, given that it is a responsible nuclear state?

Thank you.

Vladimir Putin: Look, as long as nuclear weapons exist, there will always be a danger that they could be used. This is the first thing.

Second, the goal of the current fuss around such threats and the potential use of nuclear weapons is very primitive, and I would probably be not mistaken when I explain what this is about.

I already said that the dictate of the Western countries and their attempts to apply pressure on all the participants of international communication, including countries that are neutral or friendly to us, are achieving nothing, and they are looking for additional arguments to convince our friends or neutral states that they all need to confront Russia collectively.

Nuclear provocation and the inflaming of the possibility that Russia might theoretically use nuclear weapons are being used to reach these goals: to influence our friends, our allies, and neutral states by telling them, look at whom you support; Russia is such a scary country, do not support it, do not cooperate with it, do not trade with it. This is, in fact, a primitive goal.

What is happening in reality? After all, we have never said anything proactively about Russia potentially using nuclear weapons. All we did was hint in response to statements made by Western leaders.

Ms Liz Truss, the recent Prime Minister of Great Britain, directly stated in a conversation with a media representative that Great Britain is a nuclear power and the Prime Minister's duty is to possibly use nuclear weapons, and she will do so. It's not a quote, but close to the original wording. “I'm ready to do that.”

You see, no one responded to that in any way. Suppose she just spaced out and let it slip. How can you say such things publicly? She did, though.

They should have set her straight, or Washington could have publicly stated that it has nothing to do with this.
We have no idea what she is talking about, they could have said. There was no need to hurt anyone’s feelings; all they had to do was dissociate themselves from what she said. But everyone was silent. What are we supposed to think? We thought it was a coordinated position and that we were being blackmailed. What are we supposed to do? Remain silent and pretend that we did not hear anything, or what?

There are several other statements about this matter. Kiev never stops talking about its desire to possess nuclear weapons. This is the first part of the Ballet de la Merlaison. So?

They keep talking about our outrageous actions at the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant. What is so outrageous about it? That is how they word it sometimes. They are constantly insinuating that we are firing missiles at the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant. Have they lost it altogether, or what? We are in control of this nuclear power plant. Our troops are stationed there.

A couple of months ago, I talked with a Western leader. I asked him what we should do. He told me we needed to remove heavy weapons from the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant. I agreed and said that we had already done so and there were no heavy weapons there. “You did? Well, then remove the other ones.” (Laughter.)

It is nonsense, you see?
You are laughing, it is funny, indeed. But it is almost verbatim what he said.

I told him, listen, you wanted the IAEA representatives to be present at the station. We agreed, and they are there.

They live right on the grounds of the nuclear power plant. They see with their own eyes what is going on, who is shooting and where the shells are coming from. After all, no one is saying that Ukrainian troops are shelling the nuclear power plant. And they are stirring things up and blaming Russia for this. That is delusional. It looks like a delusion, but it is actually happening.

I think I have already publicly said that the Kiev regime’s sabotage groups had destroyed three or four high-voltage overhead power lines outside the Kursk Nuclear Power Plant. Unfortunately, the FSB was unable to catch them. Hopefully, it will someday. They escaped. But they were the ones who did it.

We let all Western partners know about the incident. Silence was all we got in response, as if nothing happened. That is, they are seeking to stage some kind of a nuclear incident in order to lay responsibility on Russia and stir up a new round of their battle against Russia, sanctions against Russia, and so on. I just do not see any other point in doing so. This is what is happening.

Now they have invented something new. It was no accident that we went public about the information from our security services that they are preparing an incident with the so-called dirty bomb. Such a bomb is easy to make, and we even know its approximate location. Slightly modified remains of nuclear fuel – Ukraine has the technologies needed to do that – are loaded into the Tochka-U, it blows up and they say that it was Russia that made a nuclear strike.

But we have no need to do so; there is no sense in it for us, neither political nor military. But they are going to do it, nevertheless. It was me who instructed [Defence] Minister [Sergei] Shoigu to call all his colleagues and inform them about it. We cannot disregard such things.

Now they say that the IAEA wants to come and inspect Ukraine’s nuclear facilities. We encourage this, and we believe that it should be done as soon as possible and the inspections should be at all such facilities, because we know that the Kiev authorities are doing their best to cover their tracks. They are working on it.

Finally, about using or not using [nuclear weapons]. The only country in the world which has used nuclear weapons against a non-nuclear state was the United States of America; they used it twice against Japan. What was the goal? There was no military need for it at all. What was the military practicability to use nuclear weapons against Hiroshima and Nagasaki, against civilians? Had there been a threat to the US territorial integrity? Of course not. It was not practical from the military point of view either, because Japan’s war machine had already been destroyed, it was not able to resist, so what was the point in dealing the final blow with nuclear weapons?

By the way, Japanese textbooks usually say that it was the[ir?] Allies that struck a nuclear blow at Japan. They have such a firm grip over Japan that the Japanese cannot even write the truth in their school textbooks. Even though they commemorate this tragedy every year. Good for the Americans, we should all probably follow their example. Great job.

But such things happen, this is life. So, the US is the only country that has done it because it believed it was in its interests.

As for Russia…We have the Military Doctrine, and they should read it. One of its articles explains the cases when, why, in relation to what and how Russia considers it possible to use weapons of mass destruction in the form of nuclear weapons to protect its sovereignty, territorial integrity and to ensure the safety of the Russian people.

Comparison between Russia/USA of today and the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Fyodor Lukyanov: Tomorrow it will be 60 years since the culmination of the Caribbean crisis, the day when it was decided to retreat.

Can you imagine yourself in the role of one of the leaders, Khrushchev, to be more precise? Can we get to that point?

Vladimir Putin: Certainly not.

Fyodor Lukyanov: It won’t come to this?

Vladimir Putin: No, I cannot imagine myself in the role of Khrushchev. No way. (Laughter.)

Fyodor Lukyanov: All right. And what about the role of a leader who has to make a decision on this issue?

Vladimir Putin: We are ready to settle any issues. We are not refusing. Last December we offered the United States to continue the dialogue on strategic stability but received no response. It was in December of last year. Silence.

If they want to, we are ready, let’s do it. If they do not want to, we are developing our own modern technology, delivery vehicles, including supersonic arms. In principle, we do not need anything. We feel self-sufficient.

Yes, of course, at one time they will catch up with us in supersonic weapons as well. This is obvious, they have a high-tech country and it is only a matter of time. But they have not yet caught up with us. We have everything and we are developing this technology. If someone wants to conduct dialogue with us about this, we are ready, go ahead.

...

Putin openly addressed the Armenia and Azerbaijan dispute. There was not much of an answer basically saying that whatever is decided by those Presidents will be supported by Russia but that it is up to thoses countries to decide what the agreement looks like. Russia is only acting as a moderator.

...

Anong others, a question was asked if the capital of Russia will be moved to a more central Eurasian location. The answer was "no" since historically and mentally the centre of Russia has always been associated with Moscow.

...

Russia and China.
Fyodor Lukyanov: Please, Mr Wang Wen.

Wang Wen: Thank you. My name is Wang Wen, I am a professor from the Chongyang Institute, Renmin University of China.

... So, my question is: I know you may feel a lot of pressure and burden. Do you feel scared, nervous or anxious, especially under the threat from the West? Did you create a new Russia or did Russia’s destiny create you? What do you want to say to Chinese people and what are your comments on the past ten years of Russia-China relationship? What are your predictions and expectations of the future of Russia-China relationship? Thank you so much.

Vladimir Putin: You know, in my work I never think about achieving a historical accomplishment. Instead, I prioritize doing what must be done and what we can’t do without. In that sense, our country’s present circumstances are shaping all of us, including me.

Speaking about fear, many would love to hear me say I’m scared, but if I were afraid of everything, I would do nothing. I can’t allow myself to be guided by fear in the position I hold. I must be guided by the interests of the people of Russia and the state of Russia, which I am and will be.

I will do what I think is necessary for the benefit of my people and my country.

As for Russian-Chinese relations, they have reached an unprecedented level of openness, mutual trust and effectiveness in recent decades. China is our country’s biggest trade and economic partner. We cooperate in all spheres. In the military area, we have been conducting regular exercises. In military technology, we have enjoyed a level of trust previously unseen in the history of our two countries. We work together to promote cultural and humanitarian projects, and naturally in the economy.

Russia’s highest trade volumes are with China, and they are growing fast, gathering momentum even before the sanctions pushed trade towards Asia, and China.

My friend Mr Xi Jinping and I – he has called me his friend and I consider him as such, – we have set a goal to reach a specific trade volume level. We will certainly hit that target as we are moving towards it faster than planned.

As for our attitude towards China, we treat China and its people as friends, and we are deeply respectful of their culture and traditions. I am confident that we can certainly move forward with such a firm foundation.

Humor from Putin. :lol:
Fyodor Lukyanov: Mr President, speaking of the fear that Mr Wang mentioned, when you pointed out the existence of the nuclear factor this spring, some people were nervous because they recalled what you said here, at our annual meeting four years ago. You said that we would all go to heaven, but we’re in no hurry to get there, right? (Laughter.)

You’ve stopped to think; that’s disconcerting.

Vladimir Putin: I did it on purpose to make you worry a little. Mission accomplished. (Laughter.)

...

Moldovian gas contract, US and the Nordstream mine, and 'from Lisbon to Vladivostok'.
Fyodor Lukyanov: Mr Staris, please go ahead.

Constantin Staris: Thank you.

Good evening.

Constantin Staris, Republic of Moldova. I represent the parliamentary opposition, of course, because our government, unfortunately for our country and our people, continues to prefer other destinations for their foreign trips. As a result, today, lights went out in Chisinau, almost a total blackout. But that's not what I was going to say.
...

Constantin Staris: ... You said in your address that new models of interaction between countries and regions would inevitably emerge. Perhaps, in this context, it makes sense to return to the idea that you voiced back in 2001, about a single economic, humanitarian and cultural space that would stretch from Vladivostok to Lisbon?
...
But is this possible in the world we are about to build, in the post-conflict world, in a world without a hegemon, a global policeman or a dominant power?

Thank you.

Vladimir Putin: Is it possible to create a common humanitarian and economic space or even a region to ensure security for everyone who lives on this vast mega-continent from Lisbon to Vladivostok? Of course it is. Hope dies last. It is not our idea. True, back then they said, “to the Urals.” I later changed this idea from our French colleagues and former French leaders, extending it “to Vladivostok.”

Why? Because people who live beyond the Urals are steeped in the same culture, which is the most important thing.

Complex, difficult and tragic developments are taking place today. But in general, why not? Overall, it is quite possible to imagine such a thing. I think it would take place one way or another.

I was talking about it in my remarks about Eurasia as a whole, including the European part. Do you know what’s really important? Really important – I want to go back to my remarks – to have the European part regain its legal capacity.

How do I talk with a particular partner if they cannot decide anything without calling the Washington “regional party committee” every time to ask for directions?

In fact, this is what is happening in real life.


I remember one leader arrived during the onset of challenging events related to Syria. I had a meeting with him. We agreed on what and how we would proceed in detail. Very specific: I will do this, this and this.

From Moscow, he went to Washington. When he returned to Paris he forgot everything, as if we had not agreed on anything. How am I supposed to talk to him? About what?


We arrived at specific agreements, down to where the fleet would move, what we would do, and how we would agree on things. We are not against doing this. We are all for it. And we reached an agreement, a deal.

How are we supposed to talk with them? What is the point of talking to them? Better to call Washington directly and be done with it. I am not making things up, do you understand?

Of course, Europe is protecting its interests, especially in the economy, but then again it is doing so half-heartedly.
There go the gas pipeline explosions. These are not our pipelines; these are pan-European pipelines. Five European companies are part of Nord Stream 1. So what? Everyone is keeping quiet, as if it is business as usual. They even have the nerve to suggest that Russia blew it up. Russia blew itself up. Have they lost their senses or what? No, they keep doing this.

Gazprom published photos from 2016 showing, I think, a US-made explosive device under the gas pipeline system. They claimed they lost it during exercises. They lost an explosive device so conveniently that it slipped right under the pipeline. I think the purpose of the device was to destroy underwater mines. Look, here is the photo.
[Just to be clear, this last statment alludes that a photo was shown to the audience when there wasn't. The live translator said it this way: "There are photos demontrating that." (2:17:30- Kremlin video release)]

The international media are keeping silent about this; no one is broadcasting it; it all withers on the vine and is nowhere to be seen: neither online, nor on television. This is another case of monopolising the media to promote what they need and to kill everything that stands in their way. It is right there, but no one is saying a word about it.

This is why it is, of course, necessary to create this common space from Lisbon to Vladivostok in all respects. But this can only be done with those who have the right to vote. I don’t want to provoke or offend anyone, but this is how it is, this is today’s reality. Nevertheless, I think it’s possible in a historical perspective.
...
However, I would like to return to what you started with. You said the lights went out in Chisinau. It is unclear why they went out but we certainly have nothing to do with it.

Do you know why I am talking about this? Because Russia is always accused of everything – somewhere the lights go out, somewhere a toilet is clogged, sorry to mention it, somewhere something else breaks – Russia is to blame for all of it. Do you remember a question from a well-known movie – What about the chapel of the 12th or some other century? [Link] Have we destroyed this as well? No, thank God, we haven’t. But I would like to tell you something, and it’s perfectly true. When we held talks with Moldovan Government representatives on gas sales, Gazprom took a very pragmatic, market-based position on a natural gas contract with Moldova.

Moldovan representatives did not agree with Gazprom’s position and insisted on pricing preferences. Gazprom balked and later Mr Miller contacted me, explained his position and said he considered it right. I asked him to meet Moldova halfway, considering the economic and financial capacity of the Moldovan state. I told him that these prices were fair from a market point of view, but Moldova could not afford to pay them. If they were unable to pay, what was the point?

He did not fully agree with me but heard what I said. Gazprom met the Moldovan Government halfway and signed a gas supply contract on Moldova’s terms, on terms set by the Moldovan Government.

There were many details in this deal, but I simply do not want to bore the audience because probably nobody but you is interested. The details were related to debt, current payments and a certain advance payment. Overall, Gazprom met Moldova halfway in terms of price. They have to pay, of course. It seems to me that this is perfectly obvious.

As for why things were brought to the point of no power in Moldova, I am sorry, but this is not our problem.

A slap on the wrist for Macron over the recorded phone call days before the SMO.
Fyodor Lukyanov: Mr President, you mentioned Europe. There was an interesting episode two months ago or maybe less, when it turned out that when you spoke with President Macron shortly before the special military operation began, there were journalists in his office. The call was broadcast over the speakerphone, and they recorded everything. A somewhat unusual format. Okay, this is not the first time. How do you feel about such things?

Vladimir Putin: Negatively. I believe there are certain formats of communication between heads of state and they must be observed, otherwise the partner will lose credibility. There is nothing wrong with media representatives becoming familiar with what we discuss. All you need to do let the other party know about it, that is all.

Fyodor Lukyanov: Did they?

Vladimir Putin: Of course, not. During telephone calls, including through secure communication channels, we always assume that these are confidential calls that are not supposed to be made public, or if they are then the parties should agree on that in advance. If done unilaterally, this, of course, is not good.

Fyodor Lukyanov: When Mr Macron calls you, do you ask who is there in the same room with him?

Vladimir Putin: No.

Fyodor Lukyanov: Why? Maybe you should.

Vladimir Putin: Because I now assume that someone is listening.

Fyodor Lukyanov
: I see.

We have a guest from Indonesia.

Security blocs in Asia and the Asian-Pacific.
Connie Rahakundini Bakrie: ... Do you think you and China could file this issue to wipe out NATO, AUKUS, the QUAD, the Five Power Defence Arrangements, everything about it, together? Is that possible?


Vladimir Putin: ... We have had very good relations with Indonesia throughout most of recent history.

When President Widodo calls me, he calls me brother, and I say the same to him. We value our relationship with Indonesia.

I am grateful to the leadership and the President for the invitation to the G20 meeting. We will think about how we can go about it. Russia will definitely be represented there at a high level. Maybe I will go, too. I will think about it.

With regard to creating new blocs in Asia, I think, this is an attempt to take the failed system of bloc thinking from the Atlantic region to Asia. Without a doubt, this is a bad idea. Again, this is an attempt to be friends with someone against someone, in this case, against China. Not only do we not support an attempt to revive or recreate what happened in the Atlantic in the Asia-Pacific region, but we also believe that this is a very harmful and dangerous approach.

I must say that this will have adverse consequences for the participants or allies of the United States, which, as we know, are seeing the contracts for the delivery of submarines, or something else, being taken away from it. It is just that nothing has been done yet, but the negative consequences, including for the US allies, are already there. If this practice continues, the errors and problems will pile up. Of course, we have always opposed and continue to oppose policies like this.

...

On neo-fascism/neo-Nazism.
Fyodor Lukyanov: Muhammad Javed, please.

Muhammad Athar Javed: Thank you very much, Mr President. I am bringing a lot of respect and love from Islamabad, Pakistan. Director General of Pakistan House, Muhammad Athar Javed.

You see, I really appreciate your comprehensive and very incisive analysis of the situation. My question relates to a very important factor. It also relates to pre-Second World War, when Jews were demonised and then later ignored, and everything that was related to them was ignored by the Western Europe and the United States. And then the horrible Holocaust took place.

Now there is a hate syndrome generated about Russians. You mentioned Donbass, how the people were being treated. I have witnessed it myself in the United Kingdom and in Scandinavian countries. There is a rise of neo-Nazism. And particularly, I am personally working on a project to assess the patterns. What we are realising is that it is very serious. Number one, it is not being reported, like the previous instances, in the pre-Second World War. Number two, it is being like, I would say, washed away totally. It means that there is a need on the part of Russia to protect, as you said, the Russian language issue, with Russians outside Russia, and also to try to implement counter-design against the rise of neo-Nazis. It is a very serious threat. And the last component of this is: in Ukraine, the recruitment of non-state actors from across different regions are being reported, very credible reports, in order to initiate a full non-state actors’ brigade to fight the conventional army, to weaken the resolve. I think this needs to be addressed. I would really like you to give your analysis. Because this is very serious. Europe is facing a rise of neo-Nazism. Thank you.

Vladimir Putin: You know, I would say, one of the most serious and fundamental problems for those who supposedly care about the future of Ukraine, the so-called Ukrainian nationalists, is that the nationalist movement is merging with the neo-fascist, neo-Nazi movement.

After all, they rely on those who cannot be identified as anything but collaborators and Nazis.
Clearly, they are versions of those who, as I have said, on behalf of the Hitler authorities, exterminated the Polish, Jewish, and Russian populations in the regions occupied during World War II. It is impossible to separate today's so-called patriots, flag-wavers and nationalists from Bandera followers – they are the same thing. That, in my opinion, is their big problem, really.

Therefore, I keep repeating, including to our so-called Western partners: look at what is happening on the streets of Kiev and other major cities, where thousands of people march with swastikas and torches, and so on.

Yes, manifestations of neo-Nazism are also possible in our country. In any country, in fact, as this is extremely tenacious. But we are fighting it, while over there, it enjoys support at the state level – this, of course, is a problem. It is being hushed up, but it still exists, and there is no getting away from it, because it does exist.

But today's flag-wavers in Ukraine are not even driven by any interests or nationalist ideas; their motivation is more primitive. They are driven by economic interests; they want to keep billions of dollars they stole from the Ukrainian people in Western banks. They stole it, hid it in Western banks and will do anything to protect their capital, anything the West tells them to do. Only they are putting it in a nationalist wrapper, presenting it to their own people as a fight for the interests of the Ukrainian people. This is what is really happening – they will fight with Russia to the last Ukrainian and will not spare anyone.

I say this with regret.
Their losses are one to ten, one to eight. Lately, it's been at one to seven, one to eight. They aren’t sparing people at all. Can true patriots of their country allow this to happen? They are taking this path without looking back, without thinking about it or regretting it. Of course, they are far from protecting their national interests.

But this plague of nationalism is tenacious, only they prefer not to notice that it has become linked to neo-Nazism. And this is certainly a huge problem for the current Ukrainian regime, and for those who support them, of course. But we cannot ignore it and will always point it out, including as one of the root causes of today's crisis.

On the transition to green energy, the situation in Taiwan, and relations with North Korea.
Fyodor Lukyanov: Mr Kim, go ahead, please.

Kim Heungchong: Hello, I am Kim Heungchong from South Korea. This is my second time at the Valdai Club and I have learned a lot. Thank you very much for providing a chance to think many things.

I have some questions about security. I would like to find out your opinion or Russia’s position on the growing tensions between China and the United States over Taiwan, and North Korea’s nuclear missile development.

Another question is about combatting climate change. Russia is very rich in fossil natural resources, and so speeding up the transition to carbon neutrality might contradict Russia’s interests. What do you think about that?

Vladimir Putin: I will start with the last one. A transition to carbon neutrality does not go against Russia’s interests – we have opportunities for developing alternative energy sources, including hydrogen energy and pure hydrogen, and we have serious competitive advantages in this respect. In part, it is possible to use gas. There are many opportunities, and this does not scare us at all but, on the contrary, creates an impetus for development. Primary gas is the best source of energy as a transitional source of energy. As for the deep processing of oil, we have substantial competitive advantages in this respect, as I just said. This does not run counter to our interests at all.

What really contradicts our interests is disorder and confusion in the energy sector, attempts to rush ahead in settling issues pertaining to energy security, to ensuring a green energy transition. How was it possible not to invest enough money or prevent investment in the traditional energy sector without preparing fully for this green energy transition? How could this happen?

This is largely the reason for the current energy crisis. After all, Western politicians just talk to win voters to their side. First, they scare regular people with potential climate changes, then they start exploiting this fear and make unrealistic promises, and then they receive the votes they need, come to power and then say “oops”!

What is happening now – a return to coal, a return to fuel oil? So, what is the result after all this talk? This is not about Russia. We are ready to supply gas, and we are ready to supply oil – why turn them down? After the explosions on the Nord Stream pipelines we have one pipe left and it is operating. We can pump 27.5 billion cubic metres but they don’t want it. What does this have to do with us? If they don’t want it, so be it.

As for green energy, let me repeat that everything needs to be prepared for this before a final transition. Systemic measures limiting the development of traditional energy sources have triggered this serious crisis. There is no funding; banks do not give loans either in Europe or the United States. Why is everything limited – banks do not approve loans, do not insure, do not allocate land. Transport is not upgraded for oil and gas shipping, and this has continued for years. Considerable underfunding in the energy sector has led to shortages. This is what happened.
...
But why spoil relations with China at the same time? Are they sane? It seems that this runs completely counter to common sense and logic. Why did this granny have to trudge to Taiwan in order to provoke China into some actions? And this is at the same time when they cannot settle relations with Russia due to what is happening in Ukraine. This is simply crazy.

It may seem that there is a subtle, profound plot behind this. But I think there is nothing there, no subtle thought. It is just nonsense and arrogance, nothing else. Do you understand what the matter is? Such irrational actions are rooted in arrogance and a sense of impunity.

Our position is clear. I have described it.

Now about the nuclear problem of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

In my opinion, this problem is also rooted in – you know what – the reluctance to talk and an absolutely boorish attitude to North Korea’s interests, including its security interests. After all, they practically came to terms about everything. There was a moment. In effect, the North Korean leaders virtually agreed to the US proposals on settling this problem, including its nuclear component.

But no, at the last moment the Americans changed their position and actually compelled the North Korean leaders to renounce the achieved agreements. In the meantime, the United States introduced additional sanctions there and started introducing restrictions in finance and banking although there was an agreement not to do this. For what purpose? This is also not very clear.

Incidentally, we have joint proposals with the People’s Republic of China on how to move towards settling this problem.
We have formulated these proposals in two documents and this is common knowledge. We will adhere to our coordinated position.

By the way, as regards humanitarian and similar issues, it is important to understand the condition of the North Korean economy and the needs of its people and to settle issues proceeding from humanitarian considerations rather than by applying more pressure.

We have very good relations with the Republic of Korea and we have always had an opportunity to conduct dialogue with both the Republic of Korea and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. However, we have learned now that the Republic of Korea has decided to supply weapons and ammunition to Ukraine. This will be destroying our relations. How would the Republic of Korea behave if we resumed cooperation with North Korea in this area? Would you feel happy about this?

...

Putin on the made-up rules vs. international UN law and US trade war with China.
Fyodor Lukyanov: Please, Mr Nelson Wong, go ahead.

Nelson Wong: Thank you. I am Nelson Wong from Shanghai, China. It is a real honour, Mr President.

In your remarks, you mentioned that the rule-based order that was often used and is still being used by the West, it comes from nowhere. Which is actually quite true, and this has been also discussed quite frequently over the past four days in our discussions.

So, my question to you, Mr President, is that looking forward, we are actually moving into a time without a superpower, which was the topic of the first day of this year’s discussion. So, since the US as the only superpower is losing its control, and we are moving into a new era, this is not only the beginning of the end of the US superpower, but we already are in the process.

So, in a new phase, I believe we also need to have some rules. So, if we are ever going to have any rules, what, in your opinion, Mr President, are the most important? Of course, it’s not there yet, but for argument’s sake, what would you think would be the most important when it comes to setting up a new set of rules? Thank you.

Vladimir Putin: Why are you saying there are no such rules? They do exist and they are written into the UN Charter. These rules are called international law. We simply need for everyone to comply with these rules and interpret them in the same manner. It is only possible to dismiss or radically update them when a foundation is prepared for maintaining relations on other principles.

The UN Charter recorded the alignment of forces following WWII. Of course, the world has changed radically since then. Giants like China, India and Indonesia with large population are showing economic growth; in Africa large counties – some of them with a population of 200 million – are emerging and making progress, as well as countries in Latin America.

The world is changing. Of course, international law should keep pace with these changes and regulate relationships between countries in keeping with the balance of forces that emerges in the world in reality. However, this should be done quietly, without haste and on the basis of clear principles, rather than rules invented by someone.

I mentioned this in my speech: who has read these rules? They are talking about rules – what rules? Where are they written and who has approved them? It is nonsense. Do they think they are talking to idiots? To some broad public, while some of those people do not even know how to read properly. What are the rules and who worked on them? It is nothing more than rubbish. Still, they keep drumming it into people’s heads indefinitely. And those who do not observe these rules will be subject to restrictions and sanctions.

They are waging a trade war against China and are telling China what to do in its provinces, how to keep things under control and what kind of relations should be there, and to respect human rights. These are the tools, unfair competition tools that they are using to take on the People's Republic of China. That is what it is. They are afraid of China’s growing power and everything is happening because of that. They are splitting hairs on human rights or picking on certain regions of China to address their economic and political issues. The point, however, is to oppose China as a rising competitor, and they are coming up with all sorts of tools to get there.

The shared basis could include respecting one another’s interests, openness and general rules that are consistently understood and applied by all participants of international communication. We need to achieve this balance of interests, restore this balance of interests and follow these rules. I think it should be done publicly, not behind closed doors, and not in the interest of any particular country or a group of countries, but in the interests of the entire international community.

...

Putin's condensed message for Joe & Jane citizen of the West.
Fyodor Lukyanov: Nathalia Zaiser, please.

Dimitris Konstantakopoulos: Mr President, two small questions.

Vladimir Putin: This certainly does not look like Nathalia.

Dimitris Konstantakopoulos: ... And my second question is: what is your message to the simple, average citizen of a Western country if you had in front of you such a citizen, what would be your message?

Vladimir Putin
: ...

As for our message to the ordinary citizens of Western countries – both the United States and Europe – I would like to voice the main idea – campaign for higher salaries and wages – this is the first point. Second, don’t believe that Russia is your enemy or even opponent. Russia is your friend and for decades, we have been doing everything in our power to strengthen our relations and we intend to do so in the future.

In this context, I remember a joke that I recently told my colleagues. An acquaintance of mine from Germany told me this joke a short while ago. Here’s a family, and a son asks his father: “Dad, why is it so cold here?” The father replies: “Because Russia attacked Ukraine.” The child asks: “What do we have to do with it?” Father: “We imposed sanctions on the Russians.” The son: “What for?” The father: “To make them feel bad.” The son: “Are we Russians then?”

I would like to say that all problems – and I am addressing in this case the people in the European countries and in the United States – that all problems that arise in this context are not linked with Russia’s actions. They are rooted in the systemic mistakes of your political leaders, the political leadership of your countries – in the energy and food sectors and in monetary policy that led to an unprecedented growth of inflation and a shortage of energy resources. Russia has nothing to do with all this. This is a result of systemic mistakes by the leaders of your countries. It is necessary to conduct a realistic analysis of what is happening and seek changes in economic policy.

...

...

Putin answers on what can be done to build relations for those fighting for freedom within their hegemonic 'Western' countries.
Fyodor Lukyanov: Please, Alan Freeman, go ahead.

Alan Freeman: Mr President, I come from Canada, a NATO country, whose future prime minister’s [I sure hope not] grandfather was a Banderista.

We’ve heard the worldwide opposition to the stance of NATO and the many voices that exist in the global south. Those voices also exist in the north; they also exist in the collective West. Why don’t we hear them? Because they are suppressed. Just look at what happened to Julian Assange. The media, the political elites, the academic elites have mounted an unprecedented campaign which is racist and Russophobic, which intimidates people to prevent them from expressing the full extent of their disagreement with what their governments are doing. So, you do not see here the extent of the opposition that exists in Europe, in Canada, in the United Kingdom. You do not see it. What can we do to build relations between those in the collective West that are fighting what their governments are trying to do, and the support that exists in the global south and in Russia for Russia’s courageous actions and position in world politics?

Vladimir Putin: It seems to me that no one has to sacrifice any of one’s national interests; you just have to stand up for your national interests and we will work in harmony with you. [This answer really feels akin to the C's: "Don't defy us."]

We, of course, are not aware of all the details of the political struggle in the countries of the collective West, something you have mentioned. Perhaps, you know better than I that we are not involved in activities – practically at the level of intelligence services – targeting the opposition, the way the West is doing in its relations with us and our opposition. We know that hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars is being allocated to support the opposition using all means, all channels, anything they can think of to transfer funds to Russia for this purpose. We do not have time to keep tabs on all activities like this. At the same time, we are not doing anything of the sort.

We expect – I have talked about this many times earlier today, even, if I remember right, in my speech – our position on the fundamental issues of how international relations and societies should develop to appeal to a large number of people not only in the world in general but also in Western countries.

I just spoke about this. We know that we have great many supporters. We will rely on those supporters in building relations with the countries of the so-called collective West.

I can only wish you every success in your struggle for your national interests. This will be enough to maintain good relations with Russia.

...

On Venezuela.
Fyodor Lukyanov: Then Carlos Ron, he is from Venezuela and we can’t do without it.
...
Carlos Ron: Mr President, greetings from Venezuela, from President Nicolas Maduro, your friend.

You know, right now, about 30 percent of countries around the world are under some kind of illegal sanctions from the United States. You mentioned defending the principles enshrined in the United Nations Charter. Last month, the Group of Friends in Defence of the Charter met in New York, and one of the issues they addressed was contributing to the creation of a zone free of illegal sanctions where business can take place and where we would be free of those impositions. What do you think Russia can do to help create this space and how do you envision this can happen? And maybe you also have a message for the people of Venezuela. Thank you.

Vladimir Putin: ... Here is a confirmation. Sanctions were imposed on Venezuela, which used to be one of the biggest oil producers until recently. Sanctions were also imposed on Iran and Russia. Now Saudi Arabia is threatened with sanctions. They want to introduce a price cap on Russian gas and oil. They are making a mistake at every step, which leads to tough consequences for those who impose those sanctions. It is just one example. And then they start looking for those who is responsible. They do everything with their own hands and then look for the guilty party.

Nevertheless, Venezuela keeps progressing. It faces big problems, we are aware of that, but Venezuela is overcoming them.
...
We are going to have a recession this year, somewhere between 2.8 and 2.9 percent. It will happen. But industrial production, manufacturing will remain at about the same level. Construction: the construction sector is up by more than 5 percent – 5.1 percent – for eight months of this year. Agriculture has doubled, and the trend is increasing.
...
You asked me: what can Russia do to create conditions for living independently of these sanctions and to develop sustainably? It seems to me that this is not a bad example, and it is necessary to combine the efforts of all those who are interested in this, to achieve this agreement and the balance of interests that I have already mentioned many times. And then, without a doubt, we will succeed.

Let's stop here.

...
 

Yupo

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I apologize for going off topic here, but has there ever been made a serious movie about Putin? I recently saw this excellent actor in something, who struck me as just right for such a role. Mattias Schoenaerts is his name. Perhaps when all the dust settles...


th-2775033254.jpg
 

Benjamin

Dagobah Resident
@Yupo, there are a lot of documentaries about Putin but I, personally, am not aware of, say, a story of his life with 'him' as the lead, if that's what you mean.

After the trilateral talks with Azerbaijan and Armenia, Putin answered questions from the media. Putin didn't reveal much about the talks saying that they were "constructive" but nothing was finalized. There were a few other answers, though, that were more revealing.

Answers to media questions


At the end of the talks with the President of Azerbaijan and the Prime Minister of Armenia, Vladimir Putin answered questions from Russian media.

October 31, 2022
23:10

Sochi

An explanation as to why Russia has suspended grain shipments.
...

Pavel Zarubin: Good evening. Pavel Zarubin, Rossiya TV channel.

Vladimir Putin: Good evening.

Pavel Zarubin: One of the biggest issues in the world today is Russia’s suspension of its participation in the grain deal. We are hearing a new choir of voices from Western leaders, accusing Russia of causing global famine. Biden even called Russia’s decision an outrage.

Yes, we have already heard the statement by the Russian Defence Ministry but may I ask you: why did Russia make this decision? What do you think about these accusations of sabotaging the agreements?

The UN and Turkiye did say that they would continue releasing ships, and then what? How do you see this whole process happening further?

Vladimir Putin: This entire process of exporting grain from the territory of Ukraine was organised under the pretext of securing the interests of the poorest countries. We agreed to this exactly for the benefit of the poorest countries.

I do not remember the data of the latest hours or days, but the overall picture is as follows: about 34 percent of the grain ends up in Turkiye; a little more, or 35 percent, in the EU countries. And only 3–4 percent, according to the Agriculture Ministry, sometimes a little more, up to 5 percent (this figure changes depending on the volume of grain transported), so only 3–4 or sometimes 5 percent goes to the poorest countries as the UN classifies them. Look, is this the outcome for which the deal was designed?

And there is more. The fact is that the attempted attack – the attack on the Black Sea Fleet that failed but was still committed (and we should give credit to our naval crews and thank them, of course, for rising to the occasion and repelling all the attacks), but those drones and unmanned vessels partially entered the corridor used for exporting grain from Ukraine, thus creating a threat to our civilian ships securing the grain exports. And it is our responsibility to ensure their security.

But what if
, I apologise for my blunt words, Ukraine just whacks these ships? Russia will be to blame again, just like now everybody is blabbing about what Russia is doing, without thinking what caused it – and the cause was a threat to this humanitarian corridor.

I did not see the final statement by the Defence Ministry but I know the general stance. The Defence Minister had the opportunity to report his position to me today, and I agreed. What he said was fair: they create a threat to our naval and civilian vessels. We must protect our civilian vessels.

Therefore, we did not say we are withdrawing from this operation, no. We have suspended our participation.


The UN Secretary-General was one of the organisers of this effort. UN staff are actively involved, for which we are grateful, unquestionably. But they should probably also deal with Ukraine, and Ukraine must guarantee that civilian ships and Russia’s support vessels will not be threatened.

Listen, I do not know if the Defence Ministry explained this or not, but these unmanned vessels are no joke. They are six metres long, I believe, and carry 500 tonnes of explosives. If it hits its target, there will [be] no grain, no ship, nothing. And we will be to blame. [Although this last sentence might not be an actual translation error, it very much could be taken as an admission of future guilt, which is ridiculous, imo. The actual meaning conveyed is: 'And we will be blamed.'

This is why the Russian Defence Ministry is correct when it raises the issue of discussing the matter further with the United Nations, and in turn the United Nations is supposed to deal with Ukraine and make sure Ukraine guarantees the security of this corridor. I do not see anything unusual here. It is a matter of aligning positions, work, and obligations – in this case on behalf of our Ukrainian partners.

Putin confirms that the mobilisation is complete and there will not be another executive order.
Alexander Khristenko: Alexander Khristenko, Rossiya channel.

Mr President, mobilisation in Russia was announced by your executive order. Defence Minister Shoigu announced its completion. Should we expect another executive order?

Vladimir Putin: Well, from a legal standpoint, I do not think so. It was, of course, launched by my executive order because there was no other way to do this by law. But mobilisation was proposed by the Defence Ministry, naturally, and now the Defence Ministry has proposed that we draw it to a close.

... But it has been completed, period. ... At this point, mobilisation has been completed.

On the proposed LNG hub in Turkey and why it's being built. Putin also gives details of the actual Nordstream pipe, post-explosion, since Gazprom was allowed to examine the site.
Ilona Rudneva: Good afternoon. Ilona Rudneva, RIA Novosti.

You recently proposed creating a gas hub in Turkiye, and President Erdogan supported this idea. Is there any news about this? What stage is the process at? Are there potential gas buyers?

Vladimir Putin: There are always gas buyers. This product is in demand in the world. It is the most environmentally clean hydrocarbon and an ideal prime source of energy for the transition period to green energy, absolutely ideal. It has the lowest emissions. Therefore, I think, no, I know that there are many consumers and those who would like to buy Russian gas.

As for choosing Turkiye for building a hub for deliveries to Europe, in this particular case, I believe it is clear why we are doing this, since the idea was put forth by us – because it is very difficult to deal directly with our European partners. And besides, we are aware of the tragic events connected with the explosion of gas pipelines.

As it often or rather almost always happens, Europeans have shut their mouths and are keeping silent, as if this is how it should be, even though this is really and profoundly contrary to their interests. Moreover, somebody had the brass to suggest that it was Russia that blew up its own facility. It is impossible to imagine how people come up with such nonsense, but nevertheless they do.

[Gazprom CEO Alexei] Miller told me this morning that they had inspected the site – incidentally, Gazprom has been allowed to examine the explosion site. There are two craters there, 3 and 5 metres deep; I do not know if Gazprom has published this information. The rupture in the pipes is 259 metres if I remember correctly, and 40 metres of pipe have been torn out. The torn-out part of the pipe was twisted at 90-degree angle and thrown 40 meters towards Nord Stream 2, which was damaged as well, probably by the same explosion and by the fragments of the pipe. Therefore, it was obviously a terrorist attack.

It is difficult for us to control the situation because the site is in the exclusive economic one of Denmark, Sweden and, farther, Germany.

In this sense, it is easier for us to work with Turkiye, first of all, because President Erdogan keeps his word.
If we come to an agreement on something – this may be difficult to do, but if we come to an agreement, we try to implement it. It was the first point. And secondly, it is easier for us to control the Black Sea area.

Therefore, it is a perfectly realistic project, and we can accomplish it relatively quickly. And there will be enough of those wishing to sign contracts. I have no doubt about that.

We will see what happens this winter and next winter. But I am confident that contracts will be signed. There is no doubt about that. After all, we can also use European countries as transit routes for deliveries to other parts of the world. But I have no doubt that there will be enough takers who would want to buy our gas in Europe.

And some more warnings.
Pavel Zarubin: After the terrorist attack on the Crimean Bridge, you said that any repeated attacks would invite Russia’s commensurate response. Are today’s concentrated strikes aimed at Ukrainian territory a response to the recent events in Sevastopol?

Vladimir Putin: Yes, in part this is the case. But this is not the limit of what we could do.
 

Palinurus

The Living Force
@Yupo, there are a lot of documentaries about Putin but I, personally, am not aware of, say, a story of his life with 'him' as the lead, if that's what you mean.
Wiki has a category page about Putin films with 6 entries. Most of those are not available for viewing for different reasons. The main exception being the Oliver Stone interviews with Putin: 4 episodes of ca. 1 hour each. Filmed in 2017, so fairly recent. Starting here:


I also found an older overview of his life filmed in 2012 by a German TV network but that's only available in German, with no subtitles, no translation and no transcript either. So included here just for curiosity, and of course for those who understand German.

 

c.a.

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I'm constantly swinging from panic and horror to a sense of calm and acceptance and at times wanting to just stop thinking about anything. Sitting back and enjoying the show will take a while longer until I really get my ego under control.

I can only imagine Putin has done the same from time to time in coping with the insanity and distortions of Western media MSN.

Current Mobilization
Obama's puppet Biden is just another loose cannon with NATO's war against Russia.


 
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