At the meeting of experts at the Valdai Club in Sochi on October 27, Putin said about the U.S. elections: “a look at various candidates’ platforms gives the impression that they were made from the same mould – the difference is slight, if there is any.”
Putin called U.S. stories of “Russian hacking the U.S. election” as a “mythical and imaginary problem” and “the hysteria the USA has whipped up over supposed Russian meddling in the American presidential election,” instead of focusing on the domestic issues:
“The United States has plenty of genuinely urgent problems, it would seem, from the colossal public debt to the increase in firearms violence and cases of arbitrary action by the police. You would think that the election debates would concentrate on these and other unresolved problems, but the elite has nothing with which to reassure society, it seems, and therefore attempt to distract public attention by pointing instead to supposed Russian hackers, spies, agents of influence and so forth.”
“Does anyone seriously imagine that Russia can somehow influence the American people’s choice? America is not some kind of ‘banana republic’, after all, but is a great power. Do correct me if I am wrong.”
Putin reminded us who the real rulers are:
“The expanding class of the supranational oligarchy and bureaucracy, which is in fact often not elected and not controlled by society, or the majority of citizens, who want simple and plain things – stability, free development of their countries, prospects for their lives and the lives of their children, preserving their cultural identity, and, finally, basic security for themselves and their loved ones.”
Referring to the Western elites’ downplaying the growing gap between rich and poor, Putin said:
“It seems as if the elites do not see the deepening stratification in society and the erosion of the middle class, while at the same time, they implant ideological ideas that, in my opinion, are destructive to cultural and national identity. And in certain cases, in some countries they subvert national interests and renounce sovereignty in exchange for the favor of the suzerain.”
Putin reminded everyone that current situation of instability in the world is a direct result of the choice made by the United States after the end of the Cold War to take “the course of simply reshaping the global political and economic order to fit their own interests.” By taking this course, the U.S. missed a chance to make globalization “more harmonious and sustainable in nature.”
In their euphoria of winning the Cold war, the United States “essentially abandoned substantive and equal dialogue with other actors in international life, chose not to improve or create universal institutions, and attempted instead to bring the entire world under the spread of their own organisations, norms and rules. They chose the road of globalization and security for their own beloved selves, for the select few, and not for all. But far from everyone was ready to agree with this.”
This victorious attitude led to the system of international relations where “rules and principles, in the economy and in politics, are constantly being distorted and we often see what only yesterday was taken as a truth and raised to dogma status reversed completely. “
On the Western hypocrisy and double talk, Putin said:
“If the powers that be today find some standard or norm to their advantage, they force everyone else to comply. But if tomorrow these same standards get in their way, they are swift to throw them in the bin, declare them obsolete, and set or try to set new rules.”
Russian president reminded about the U.S.-led decision “to launch airstrikes in the center of Europe, against Belgrade, and then came Iraq, and then Libya,” and turning the UN into a tool of U.S. foreign policy:
“The operations in Afghanistan also started without the corresponding decision from the United Nations Security Council. In their desire to shift the strategic balance in their favor these countries broke apart the international legal framework that prohibited deployment of new missile defense systems. They created and armed terrorist groups, whose cruel actions have sent millions of civilians into flight, made millions of displaced persons and immigrants, and plunged entire regions into chaos.”
In the global economy, multilateral institutions also became a tool to promote the interests of few:
“We see how free trade is being sacrificed and countries use sanctions as a means of political pressure, bypass the World Trade Organization and attempt to establish closed economic alliances with strict rules and barriers, in which the main beneficiaries are their own transnational corporations. And we know this is happening. They see that they cannot resolve all of the problems within the WTO framework and so think, why not throw the rules and the organization itself aside and build a new one instead.”
Always referring to the U.S. as “some of our partners,” Putin stressed that they “demonstrate no desire to resolve the real international problems in the world today.” Instead of making OSCE, “a crucial mechanism for ensuring common European and also trans-Atlantic security,” it was shaped into “an instrument in the service of someone’s foreign policy interests.”
About constant vilification of Russia and trumpeting of “Russian aggression,” Putin said:
“they continue to churn out threats, imaginary and mythical threats such as the ‘Russian military threat’. This is a profitable business that can be used to pump new money into defense budgets at home, get allies to bend to a single superpower’s interests, expand NATO and bring its infrastructure, military units and arms closer to our borders.
Of course, it can be a pleasing and even profitable task to portray oneself as the defender of civilization against the new barbarians. The only thing is that Russia has no intention of attacking anyone. This is all quite absurd.
It is unthinkable, foolish and completely unrealistic. It is simply absurd to even conceive such thoughts. And yet they use these ideas in pursuit of their political aims.
The question is, if things continue in this vein, what awaits the world? What kind of world will we have tomorrow? Do we have answers to the questions of how to ensure stability, security and sustainable economic growth? Do we know how we will make a more prosperous world?’