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    Default Putin's Interviews, Opinions, Comments, Remarks and Warnings.

    Transcript of Complete Putin Interview With The Financial Times

    Sott.net
    Mon, 01 Jul 2019 21:38 UTC



    We got this from the Kremlin's website, although the FT also published a transcript here.

    The long-form interview was conducted last week in the Kremlin, on the eve of Putin's departure for the 2019 G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan.

    We're not sure what's more surprising; the frankness and range of Putin's answers on everything from liberalism and religion to trade and household incomes, or the fact that the FT 'stooped' so low as to conduct a reasonably respectful interview with the great man...

    The full 90-minute video of the interview is available here, but it has not yet been translated into English. In the meantime, here's a 15-minute clip from Russia Insight:

    Transcript

    Lionel Barber: Mr President, you head for Osaka shortly as the senior statesman at the G20. Nobody has been to so many international meetings of this grouping and the G7 over the last 20 years while you have been in charge of Russia. Before we talk about the G20 agenda and what you hope to achieve, we know that there are rising tensions between America and China in trade, the risk of conflict in the Gulf. I would be very grateful if you could talk a bit about how you have seen the world change over the last 20 years while you have been in power.

    President of Russia Vladimir Putin: First, I have not been in power for all these 20 years. As you may know, I was Prime Minister for four years, and that is not the highest authority in the Russian Federation. But nevertheless, I have been around for a long time in government and in the upper echelons, so I can judge what is changing and how. In fact, you just said it yourself, asking what has changed and how. You mentioned the trade wars and the Persian Gulf developments. I would cautiously say the situation has not changed for the better, but I remain optimistic to a certain extent. But, to put it bluntly, the situation has definitely become more dramatic and explosive.

    Lionel Barber: Do you believe that the world now has become more fragmented?

    Vladimir Putin: Of course, because during the Cold War, the bad thing was the Cold War. It is true. But there were at least some rules that all participants in international communication more or less adhered to or tried to follow. Now, it seems that there are no rules at all. In this sense, the world has become more fragmented and less predictable, which is the most important and regrettable thing.

    Lionel Barber: We will return to this theme of the world without rules, fragmentation, more transactional. But first, Mr President, tell us what you want to achieve in Osaka, in terms of your relationships with these other parties? What are your main goals for the summit?

    Vladimir Putin: I would very much like all the participants in this event, and the G20, in my opinion, is a key international economic development forum today, so I would like all the G20 members to reaffirm their intention - at least an intention - to work out some general rules that everyone would follow, and show their commitment and dedication to strengthening international financial and trade institutions.

    Everything else is details that complement the main topics one way or another. We certainly support Japan's Presidency. As for the development of modern technology, the information world, the information economy, as well as our Japanese colleagues' attention to matters such as longevity and the environment - all this is extremely important, and we will certainly support it and will take part in all these discussions. Even though it is hard to expect any breakthroughs or landmark decisions in the current conditions; we can hardly count on it today. But in any case, there is hope at least that during these general discussions and bilateral meetings we will be able to smooth out the existing disagreements and lay a foundation, a basis for positive movement forward.

    Lionel Barber: You will have a meeting with Mohammad bin Salman in Osaka. Can we expect an extension of the current agreement on oil production? Limitations?

    Vladimir Putin: As you know, Russia is not an OPEC member, even though it is among the world's largest producers. Our daily production is estimated at 11.3 million barrels, I believe. The United States has surged ahead of us, though. However, we believe that our production stabilisation agreements with Saudi Arabia and OPEC in general have had a positive effect on market stabilisation and forecasting.

    I believe both energy producers, in this case, oil producing countries, and consumers are interested in this, because stability is definitely in short supply at present. And our agreements with Saudi Arabia and other OPEC members undoubtedly strengthen stability.

    As for whether we will extend the agreement, you will find out in the next few days. I had a meeting on this issue with the top executives of our largest oil companies and Government members right before this interview.

    Lionel Barber: They are a little bit frustrated. They would like to produce more. Is that correct?

    Vladimir Putin: They have a smart policy. It is not about increasing production, although that is a major component in the work of large oil companies. It is about the market situation. They take a comprehensive view of the situation, as well as of their revenues and expenses. Of course, they are also thinking about boosting the industry, timely investments, ways to attract and use modern technology, as well as about making this vital industry more attractive for investors.

    However, dramatic price hikes or slumps will not contribute to market stability and will not encourage investment. This is why we discussed all these issues in their totality today.

    Lionel Barber: Mr President, you have observed four American presidents at close quarters and will maybe five, you have had direct experience. So, how is Mr Trump different?

    Vladimir Putin: We are all different. No two people are the same, just like there are no identical sets of fingerprints. Anyone has his or her own advantages, and let the voters judge their shortcomings. On the whole, I maintained sufficiently good-natured and stable relations with all the leaders of the United States. I had an opportunity to communicate more actively with some of them.

    The first US President I came into contact with was Bill Clinton. Generally, I viewed this as a positive experience. We established sufficiently stable and business-like ties for a short period of time because his tenure was already coming to an end. I was only a very young president then who had just started working. I continue to recall how he established partner-like relations with me. I remain very grateful to him for this.

    There have been different times, and we had to address various problems with all other colleagues. Unfortunately, this often involved debates, and our opinions did not coincide on some matters that, in my opinion, can be called key aspects for Russia, the United States and the entire world. For example, this includes the unilateral US withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty that, as we have always believed, and as I am still convinced, was the cornerstone of the entire international security system.

    We debated this matter for a long time, argued and suggested various solutions. In any event, I made very energetic attempts to convince our US partners not to withdraw from the Treaty. And, if the US side still wanted to withdraw from the Treaty, it should have done so in such a way as to guarantee international security for a long historical period. I suggested this, I have already discussed this in public, and I repeat that I did this because I consider this matter to be very important. I suggested working jointly on missile-defence projects that should have involved the United States, Russia and Europe. They stipulated specific parameters of this cooperation, determined dangerous missile approaches and envisioned technology exchanges, the elaboration of decision-making mechanisms, etc. Those were absolutely specific proposals.

    I am convinced that the world would be a different place today, had our US partners accepted this proposal. Unfortunately, this did not happen. We can see that the situation is developing in another direction; new weapons and cutting-edge military technology are coming to the fore. Well, this is not our choice. But, today, we should at least do everything so as to not aggravate the situation.

    Lionel Barber: Mr President, you are a student of history. You have had many hours of conversation with Henry Kissinger. You almost certainly read his book, World Order. With Mr Trump, we have seen something new, something much more transactional. He is very critical of alliances and allies in Europe. Is this something that is to Russia's advantage?

    Vladimir Putin: It would be better to ask what would be to America's advantage in this case. Mr Trump is not a career politician. He has a distinct world outlook and vision of US national interests. I do not accept many of his methods when it comes to addressing problems. But do you know what I think? I think that he is a talented person. He knows very well what his voters expect from him.

    Russia has been accused, and, strange as it may seem, it is still being accused, despite the Mueller report, of mythical interference in the US election. What happened in reality? Mr Trump looked into his opponents' attitude to him and saw changes in American society, and he took advantage of this.

    You and I are talking ahead of the G20 meeting. It is an economic forum, and it will undoubtedly have discussions on globalisation, global trade and international finance.

    Has anyone ever given a thought to who actually benefited and what benefits were gained from globalisation, the development of which we have been observing and participating in over the past 25 years, since the 1990s?

    China has made use of globalisation, in particular, to pull millions of Chinese out of poverty.

    What happened in the United States, and how did it happen? In the United States, the leading US companies -the companies, their managers, shareholders and partners - made use of these benefits. The middle class hardly benefitted from globalisation. The take-home pay in the US (we are likely to talk later about real incomes in Russia, which need special attention from the Government). The middle class in the United States has not benefited from globalisation; it was left out when this pie was divided up.

    The Trump team sensed this very keenly and clearly, and they used this in the election campaign. It is where you should look for reasons behind Trump's victory, rather than in any alleged foreign interference. This is what we should be talking about here, including when it comes to the global economy.

    I believe this may explain his seemingly extravagant economic decisions and even his relations with his partners and allies. He believes that the distribution of resources and benefits of globalisation in the past decade was unfair to the United States.

    I am not going to discuss whether it was fair or not, and I will not say if what he is doing is right or wrong. I would like to understand his motives, which is what you asked me about. Maybe this could explain his unusual behaviour.

    Lionel Barber: I definitely want to come back to the Russian economy. But what you said is absolutely fascinating. Here you are, the President of Russia, defending globalisation along with President Xi whereas Mr Trump is attacking globalisation and talking about America First. How do you explain this paradox?

    Vladimir Putin: I don't think that his desire to make America first is a paradox. I want Russia to be first, and that is not perceived as a paradox; there is nothing unusual there. As for the fact that he is attacking some manifestations of globalisation, I made that point earlier. He seems to believe that the results of globalisation could have been much better for the United States than they are. These globalisation results are not producing the desired effect for the United States, and he is beginning this campaign against certain elements of globalisation. This concerns everyone, primarily major participants in the system of international economic collaboration, including allies.

    Lionel Barber: Mr President, you have had many meetings with President Xi, and Russia and China have definitely come closer. Are you putting too many eggs in the China basket? Because Russian foreign policy, including under your leadership, has always made a virtue of talking to everybody.

    Vladimir Putin: First of all, we have enough eggs, but there are not that many baskets where these eggs can be placed. This is the first point.

    Secondly, we always assess risks.

    Thirdly, our relations with China are not motivated by timeserving political any other considerations. Let me point out that the Friendship Treaty with China was signed in 2001, if memory serves, long before the current situation and long before the current economic disagreements, to put it mildly, between the United States and China.

    We do not have to join anything, and we do not have to direct our policy against anyone. In fact, Russia and China are not directing their policy against anyone. We are just consistently implementing our plans for expanding cooperation. We have been doing this since 2001, and we are just consistently implementing these plans.

    Take a look at what is written there. We have not done anything that transcends the framework of these accords. So there is nothing unusual here, and you should not search for any implications of the Chinese-Russian rapprochement. Of course, we assess the current global developments; our positions coincide on a number of matters on the current global agenda, including our attitude towards compliance with generally accepted rules in trade, the international financial system, payments and settlements.

    The G20 has played a very tangible role. Since its inception in 2008, when the financial crisis flared up, the G20 has accomplished many useful things for stabilising the global financial system, for developing global trade and ensuring its stabilisation. I am talking about the tax aspect of the global agenda, the fight against corruption, and so on. Both China and Russia adhere to this concept.

    The G20 has accomplished a lot by advocating quota changes at the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Both Russia and China share this approach. Considering the major increase in the global economic share of emerging markets, this is fair and right, and we have been voicing this position from the very beginning. And we are glad that this continues to develop and to proceed in line with changes in global trade.

    Over the past 25 years or so (25, I believe), the share of G7 countries in the global GDP has declined from 58 percent to 40 percent. This should also be reflected in international institutions in some way. That is the common position of Russia and China. This is fair, and there is nothing special about this.

    Yes, Russia and China have many coinciding interests, this is true. This is what motivates our frequent contacts with President Xi Jinping. Of course, we have also established very warm personal relations, and this is natural.

    Therefore, we are moving in line with our mainstream bilateral agenda that was formulated as far back as 2001, but we quickly respond to global developments. We never direct our bilateral relations against anyone. We are not against anyone, we are for ourselves.

    Lionel Barber: I am relieved that this egg supply is strong. But the serious point, Mr President, is, you are familiar with Graham Allison's book, The Thucydides's Trap. The danger of tensions or a military conflict risk between a dominant power and a rising power, America and China. Do you think that there is a risk of a military conflict in your time between you, America and China?

    Vladimir Putin: You know, the entire history of mankind has always been full of military conflicts, but since the appearance of nuclear weapons the risk of global conflicts has decreased due to the potential global tragic consequences for the entire population of the planet in case such a conflict happens between two nuclear states. I hope it will not come to this.

    However, of course, we have to admit that it is not only about China's industrial subsidies on the one hand or the tariff policy of the United States on the other. First of all, we are talking about different development platforms, so to speak, in China and in the United States. They are different and you, being a historian, probably will agree with me. They have different philosophies in both foreign and domestic policies, probably.

    But I would like to share some personal observations with you. They are not about allied relations with one country or a confrontation with the other; I am just observing what is going on at the moment. China is showing loyalty and flexibility to both its partners and opponents. Maybe this is related to the historical features of Chinese philosophy, their approach to building relations.

    Therefore I do not think that there would be some such threats from China. I cannot imagine that, really. But it is hard to say whether the United States would have enough patience not to make any rash decisions, but to respect its partners even if there are disagreements. But I hope, I would like to repeat this again, I hope that there would not be any military confrontation.

    Lionel Barber: Arms control. We know that the INF agreement is in grave jeopardy. Is there any place, from Russia's point of view, for future arms control agreements or are we in a new phase when we are likely to see a new nuclear arms race?

    Vladimir Putin: I believe there is such a risk.

    As I said already, the United States unilaterally withdrew from the ABM Treaty, and has recently quit the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty as well. But this time, it did not just quit but found a reason to quit, and this reason was Russia. I do not think Russia means anything to them in this case, because this war theatre, the war theatre in Europe is unlikely to be interesting to the US, despite the expansion of NATO and NATO's contingent near our borders. The fact remains, the US has withdrawn from the treaty. Now the agenda is focused on theStrategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START). I hope that I will be able to talk about it with Donald if we happen to meet in Osaka.

    We said that we are ready to hold talks and to extend this treaty between the United States and Russia, but we have not seen any relevant initiative from our American partners. They keep silent, while the treaty expires in 2021. If we do not begin talks now, it would be over because there would be no time even for formalities.

    Our previous conversation with Donald showed that the Americans seem to be interested in this, but still they are not making any practical steps. So if this treaty ceases to exist, then there would be no instrument in the world to curtail the arms race. And this is bad.

    Lionel Barber: Exactly, the gloves are off. Is there any chance of a triangular agreement between China, Russia and America on intermediate nuclear forces or is that a dream, pie in the sky? Would you support such an end?

    Vladimir Putin: As I said at the very beginning, we will support any agreement that can advance our cause, that is, help us contain the arms race.

    It should be said that so far, the level and the development scale of China's nuclear forces are much lower than in the United States and Russia. China is a huge power that has the capability to build up its nuclear potential. This will likely happen in the future, but so far our capabilities are hardly comparable. Russia and the United States are the leading nuclear powers, which is why the agreement was signed between them. As for whether China will join these efforts, you can ask our Chinese friends.

    Lionel Barber: Russia is a Pacific power as well as a European and Asian power. It is a Pacific power. You have seen what the Chinese are doing in terms of their buildup of their Navy and their maritime strength. How do you deal with those potential security problems, territorial disputes in the Pacific? Does Russia have a role to play in a new security arrangement?

    Vladimir Putin: You mentioned the build-up of naval forces in China. China's total defence spending is $117 billion, if memory serves. The US defence spending is over $700 billion. And you are trying to scare the world with the build-up of China's military might? It does not work with this scale of military spending. No, it does not.

    As for Russia, we will continue to develop our Pacific Fleet as planned. Of course, we also respond to global developments and to what happens in relations between other countries. We can see all of this, but it does not affect our defence development plans, including those in the Russian Far East.

    We are self-sufficient, and we are confident. Russia is the largest continental power. But we have a nuclear submarine base in the Far East, where we are developing our defence potential in accordance with our plans, including so that we can ensure safety on the Northern Sea Route, which we are planning to develop.

    We intend to attract many partners to this effort, including our Chinese partners. We may even reach an agreement with American shippers and with India, which has also indicated its interest in the Northern Sea Route.

    I would say that we are also primed for cooperation in the Asia Pacific region, and I have grounds to believe that Russia can make a considerable, tangible and positive contribution to stabilising the situation.

    Lionel Barber: Can we just turn to North Korea? How do you assess the current situation and do you believe that in the end, any deal or agreement will have to accept the fact that North Korea has nuclear weapons and that total dismantling is just not possible? If I could just add, Mr President, I ask you this because Russia has a fairly small but still a land border with North Korea.

    Vladimir Putin: You know, whether we recognise North Korea as a nuclear power or not, the number of nuclear charges it has will not decrease. We must proceed from modern realities, which are that nuclear weapons pose a threat to international peace and security.

    Another pertinent question is where this problem stems from. The tragedies of Libya and Iraq have inspired many countries to ensure their security at all costs.

    What we should be talking about is not how to make North Korea disarm, but how to ensure the unconditional security of North Korea and how to make any country, including North Korea feel safe and protected by international law that is strictly honoured by all members of the international community. This is what we should be thinking about.

    We should think about guarantees, which we should use as the basis for talks with North Korea. We must be patient, respect it and, at the same time, take into account the dangers arising from this, the dangers of the nuclear status and the presence of nuclear weapons.

    Of course, the current situation is fraught with unpredictable scenarios, which we must avoid.

    Lionel Barber: You have obviously thought of this as an experienced foreign policy and security analyst and a strategist. How do you see the North Asia security situation over the next five to ten years, given you have Russia, you have China, you have Korea and Japan?

    Vladimir Putin: You have said correctly that we have a common border, even if a short one, with North Korea, therefore, this problem has a direct bearing on us. The United States is located across the ocean, and the UK is located far away, while we are right here, in this region, and the North Korean nuclear range is not far away from our border. This why this concerns us directly, and we never stop thinking about it.

    I would like to return to my answer to your previous question. We must respect North Korea's legitimate security concerns. We must show it respect, and we must find a way of ensuring its security that will satisfy North Korea. If we do this, the situation may take a turn nobody can imagine today.

    Do you remember what turn the situation took after the Soviet Union adopted the policy of détente? Do I need to say anything else?

    Lionel Barber: Mr President, you have been in power or very close to power. I think in Davos I said to you when we met - you were not in power but still calling all the shots. After 20 years at the top or near the top, has your appetite for risk increased?

    Vladimir Putin: It did not increase or decrease.Risk must always be well-justified. But this is not the case when one can use the popular Russian phrase: "He who doesn't take risks, never drinks champagne." This is not the case. Quite possibly, risks are inevitable when one has to make certain decisions. Depending on the scale of any decision, risks can be small or serious.

    Any decision-making process is accompanied by risk. Before taking one's chances, one has to meticulously assess everything. Therefore, risk based on an assessment of the situation and the possible consequences of the decisions is possible and even inevitable. Foolish risks overlooking the real situation and failing to clearly comprehend the consequences are unacceptable because they can jeopardise the interests of a great number of people.

    Lionel Barber: How big was this Syria risk in terms of your decision to intervene?

    Vladimir Putin: It was sufficiently high. However, of course, I thought carefully about this well in advance, and I considered all the circumstances and all the pros and cons. I considered how the situation around Russia would develop and the possible consequences. I discussed this matter with my aides and ministers, including those in charge of law enforcement agencies and other senior officials. In the long run, I decided that the positive effect from our active involvement in Syrian affairs for Russia and the interests of the Russian Federation would far outweigh non-interference and passive observation of how an international terrorist organisation grows ever stronger near our borders.

    Lionel Barber: What has the return been like on the risk taken in Syria?

    Vladimir Putin: I believe that it has been a good and positive return. We have accomplished even more than I had expected. First of all, many militants planning to return to Russia were eliminated. This implies several thousand people. They were planning to return to Russia or neighbouring countries with which we do not maintain any visa regime. Both aspects are equally dangerous for us. This is the first thing.

    Secondly, we have managed to stabilise the situation in a nearby region, one way or another. This is also highly important. Therefore, we have directly strengthened Russia's domestic security. This is the third thing.

    Fourthly, we have established sufficiently good business-like relations with all regional countries, and our positions in the Middle East region have become more stable. Indeed, we have established very good, business-like, partner-like and largely allied relations with many regional countries, including Iran, Turkey and other countries.

    Primarily, this concerns Syria, we have managed to preserve Syrian statehood, no matter what, and we have prevented Libya-style chaos there. And a worst-case scenario would spell out negative consequences for Russia.

    Besides, I would like to openly speak of the mobilisation of the Russian Armed Forces. Our Armed Forces have received such practical experience that they could not have obtained during any peace-time exercises.

    Lionel Barber: Are you committed to Mr al-Assad remaining in power or can we see, at some point, the transition in Syria that Russia would support, which would not be Libya?

    Vladimir Putin: I believe that the Syrian people should be free to choose their own future. At the same time, I would like the actions of external players to be substantiated and, just as in the case of the risks you have mentioned, predictable and understandable, so that we can consider at least our next moves.

    When we discussed this matter only recently with the previous US administration, we said, suppose Assad steps down today, what will happen tomorrow?

    Your colleague did well to laugh, because the answer we got was very amusing. You cannot even imagine how funny it was. They said, "We don't know." But when you do not know what happens tomorrow, why shoot from the hip today? This may sound primitive, but this is how it is.

    Therefore, we prefer to look at problems thoroughly from all possible angles and not to be in any hurry. Of course, we are perfectly aware of what is happening in Syria. There are internal reasons for the conflict, and they should be dealt with. But both sides should do their bit. I am referring to the conflicting parties.

    Lionel Barber: Mr President, does that same argument apply to Venezuela? In other words, you are not prepared to see a transition in Venezuela and you are absolutely committed to President Maduro.

    Vladimir Putin: Oh, and it seemed we had started so well. Please do not take offence to what I am going to say next. You won't, will you? We were off to such a terrific start, talking seriously, and now you have moved back to the stereotype views on Russia.

    We have no nothing to do with what is happening in Venezuela, if you know what I mean.

    Lionel Barber: What are those advisors doing then in Caracas?

    Vladimir Putin: I will say this now, if you just let me finish. There is no problem with that.

    Back under [President] Chavez we sold weapons to Venezuela, without any limits and problems. We did this absolutely legally just as it is done all around the world and as every country does, including the United States, the UK, China and France. We did this too - we sold weapons to Venezuela.

    We signed contracts, which say what we have to do when it comes to servicing this military equipment, that we must train local specialists, ensure that this equipment is maintained in combat readiness, and so on. We provide maintenance services for this equipment. I have already said this many times, including to our American partners: there are no Russian troops there. Do you understand? Yes, there are Russian specialists and instructors there. Yes, they are working there. Only recently, I believe it was a week ago, a group of our advisers and specialists left the country. But they can return.

    We have an agreement that our aircraft fly there from time to time to take part in exercises. And this is it. Are we regulating the rebels' actions as some of our partners are doing, or the actions of President Maduro? He is the president, why should we control his actions? He is in control. Whether he is doing well or not, this is another matter altogether. We do not make any judgments.

    I believe that many things could have been done differently there when it comes to the economy. But we do not meddle in things; it is none of our business. We have invested billions of dollars there, mostly in the oil sector. So what? Other countries are doing the same as well.

    It looks like everything is preserved only by Russian weapons. This is not true. It has nothing in common with reality. Where are the self-proclaimed presidents and opposition leaders? Some of them have taken refuge in foreign embassies and others are in hiding. What do we have to do with this? This problem should be sorted out by the Venezuelan people themselves. This is all.

    Lionel Barber: I was just applying your theory and your experience of seeing what happened in Libya and Iraq to Venezuela. And therefore, logically, you would say, "We are committed to Mr Maduro because we do not want to see regime change from outside." Is that the Russian position? Or might you be willing to say, "We will support Guaido because we have important oil interests in Venezuela"?

    Vladimir Putin: We are prepared for any developments in any country, including Venezuela, if they are taking place in accordance with internal rules and the country's legislation, its Constitution, and in line with the people's will.

    I do not think that Libyan or Iraqi statehood would have been wrecked if there had been no intervention there. It would not have happened in Libya, the situation was absolutely different there. Indeed, Gaddafi wrote his books there, set forth his theories, and so on, which did not meet specific standards, and his practical work did not meet European or American perceptions of democracy.

    Incidentally, the President of France said recently that the American democratic model differs greatly from the European model. So there are no common democratic standards. And do you, well, not you, but our Western partners want a region such as Libya to have the same democratic standards as Europe and the United States? The region has only monarchies or countries with a system similar to the one that existed in Libya.

    But I am sure that, as a historian, you will agree with me at heart. I do not know whether you will publicly agree with this or not, but it is impossible to impose current and viable French or Swiss democratic standards on North African residents who have never lived in conditions of French or Swiss democratic institutions. Impossible, isn't it? And they tried to impose something like that on them. Or they tried to impose something that they had never known or even heard of. All this led to conflict and inter-tribal discord. In fact, a war continues in Libya.

    So why should we do the same in Venezuela? Do we want to revert to gunboat diplomacy? What do we need it for? Is it necessary to humiliate Latin American nations so much in the modern world and impose forms of government or leaders from the outside?

    By the way, we worked with President Chavez because he was president. We did not work with President Chavez as an individual, but we worked with Venezuela. That is why we channelled investments in the oil sector.

    And where did we plan to deliver Venezuelan oil while investing in the oil sector? As you know, Venezuela has unique oil that is mostly delivered to US refineries. What is so bad about that? We wanted the Venezuelan oil and gas sector to operate steadily, predictably and confidently and to make deliveries to those US refineries. I do not understand what is so wrong with this.

    First, they faced economic problems, followed by domestic political problems. Let them sort things out by themselves, and these leaders will come to power by democratic means. But when a person enters a square, raises his eyes to the sky and proclaims himself president? Let us do the same in Japan, the United States or Germany. What will happen? Do you understand that this will cause chaos all over the world? It is impossible to disagree with this. There will be pure chaos. How could they act like this? But no, they started supporting that person from the very outset.

    He may be a very good person. He may be just wonderful, and his plans are good. But is it enough that he entered a square and proclaimed himself president? Is the entire world supposed to support him as president? We should tell him to take part in elections and win them, and then we would work with him as the state leader.

    Lionel Barber: Let us talk about another democracy in Europe, my own country. You are going to have a meeting with Mrs May, which is going to be one of her last meetings before she steps down as Prime Minister. Do you think that there is a possibility of some improvement in Anglo-Russian relations and that we can move on from some of these issues that are obviously of great sensitivity, like the Skripal affair? Or do you think that we are going to stay in a deep freeze for the next three or five years?

    Vladimir Putin: Listen,all this fuss about spies and counter-spies, it is not worth serious interstate relations. This spy story, as we say, it is not worth five kopecks. Or even five pounds, for that matter. And the issues concerning interstate relations, they are measured in billions and the fate of millions of people. How can we compare one with the other?

    The list of accusations and allegations against one another could go on and on. They say, "You poisoned the Skripals." Firstly, this must be proved.

    Secondly, the average person listens and says, "Who are these Skripals?" And it turns out that Skripal was engaged in espionage against us [Russia]. So this person asks the next question, "Why did you spy on us using Skripal? Maybe you should not have done that?" You know, these questions are infinite. We need to just leave it alone and let security agencies deal with it.

    But we know that businesses in the United Kingdom (by the way, I had a meeting with our British colleagues in this same room), they want to work with us, they are working with us and intend to continue doing so. And we support this intent.

    I think that Mrs May, despite her resignation, could not help but be concerned that these spy scandals made our relations reach a deadlock so we could not develop our ties normally and support business people, who are doing what? They do not only earn money, this is what is on the outside. They create jobs and added value, plus they provide revenue at all levels of the tax system of their countries. This is a serious and multifaceted job, with the same risks you mentioned, including risks related to business operations. And if we add an unpredictable political situation, they will not be able to work at all.

    I think that both Russia and the United Kingdom are interested in fully restoring our relations. At least I hope that a few preliminary steps will be made. I think it would be easier for Mrs May, maybe, because she is leaving and is free to do what she thinks is right, important and necessary and not to bother about some domestic political consequences.

    Lionel Barber: Some people might say that a human life is worth more than five pennies. But do you believe, Mr President that whatever happened...

    Vladimir Putin: Did anybody die?

    Lionel Barber: Oh yes. The gentleman who had a drug problem and he died after touching the Novichok in the car park. I mean somebody did that because of the perfume. It was more than one person that died, not the Skripals. I am just...

    Vladimir Putin: And you think this is absolutely Russia's fault?

    Lionel Barber: I did not say that. I said somebody died.

    Vladimir Putin: You did not say that, but if it has nothing to do with Russia... Yes, a man died, and that is a tragedy, I agree. But what do we have to do with it?

    Lionel Barber: Let me just ask this and I really want to talk about the Russian economy. Do you believe that what happened in Salisbury sent an unambiguous message to anyone who is thinking of betraying the Russian state that it is fair game?

    Vladimir Putin: As a matter of fact, treason is the gravest crime possible and traitors must be punished. I am not saying that the Salisbury incident is the way to do it. Not at all. But traitors must be punished.

    This gentleman, Skripal, had already been punished. He was arrested, sentenced and then served time in prison. He received his punishment. For that matter, he was off the radar. Why would anybody be interested in him? He got punished. He was detained, arrested, sentenced and then spent five years in prison. Then he was released and that was it.

    As concerns treason, of course, it must be punishable. It is the most despicable crime that one can imagine.

    Lionel Barber: The Russian economy. You spoke the other day about decline in the real wages in the Russian workforce and Russian growth has been less than expected. But at the same time, Mr President, you have been accumulating foreign exchange reserves and international reserves at some 460 billion. What are you saving for? What is the purpose? Can't you use some of this money to ease up on the fiscal side?

    Vladimir Putin: Let me correct a few very small details. Real wages are not in decline in Russia. On the contrary, they are starting to pick up. It is the real household disposable income that is falling.

    Wages and income are two slightly different things. Income is determined by many parameters, including loan servicing costs. People in Russia take out a lot of consumer loans and interest payments are counted towards expenses, which drags down real income indicators. Also, the shadow economy is undergoing legalisation. A substantial part of self-employed people - I believe, 100,000 or 200,000, have already legalised their business. This, too, affects real incomes of the population, disposable incomes.

    This tendency has persisted for the past four years. Last year we recorded a small increase of 0.1 percent. It is not enough. It is still within the margin of error. But it is one of the serious problems that we need to deal with and we are dealing with it.

    Real wages started to grow recently. Last year there was an 8.5-percent increase. This year, the growth rate of real wages has significantly decreased due to a whole range of circumstances. I mean that last year we saw a recovery growth and there are some other factors involved. However, it continues. And we really expect that it will have an effect on real household disposable incomes.

    Even more so because lately we have adopted a number of measures to speed up the growth of retirement pensions. Last year the inflation rate was 4.3 percent and, based on these results, in the beginning of this year pensions were adjusted for inflation by 7.05 percent. And we set ourselves a goal, a task - which, I am certain, will be achieved - to adjust pensions by a percentage that is above the inflation rate.

    Now, real incomes were also affected because we had to increase VAT from 18 to 20 percent, which affected people's purchasing power because the inflation rate exceeded 5 percent.

    In other words, we expected that the negative impact of the VAT increase would be short-term, which is exactly what happened. Fortunately, it worked out and our calculations proved right. Now the inflation rate is going down, the macroeconomic situation is improving; investment is rising slightly. We can see that the economy has overcome those difficulties that were caused by internal and external shocks. The external shocks were related to restrictions and slumping prices on our traditional export products. The economy has stabilised.

    The macroeconomic situation in the country is stable. It is not accidental and all rating agencies registered it. The three major agencies raised our investment rating. Economic growth last year was 2.3 percent. We do not think it was enough but we will, of course, work on speeding up the pace. The growth rate in industrial production was 2.9 percent and even higher, up to 13 percent in some industries (light industry, processing and garment industries and several others). Therefore, overall, our economy is stable.

    But the most important task we need to achieve is to change the structure of the economy and secure a substantial growth of labour productivity through modern technologies, Artificial Intelligence, robotics and so on. This is exactly why we increased VAT, to raise budget funds for performing a certain part of this job that is the state's responsibility, in order to create conditions for private investment. Let us take transport and other infrastructure development. Hardly anybody besides the state is involved in it. There are other factors related to education and healthcare. A person who has health problems or has no training cannot be efficient in the modern economy. The list goes on.

    We really hope that by starting this work on key development areas, we will be able to increase labour productivity and use this basis for ensuring an increase in the incomes and prosperity of our people.

    As concerns the reserves, you are not exactly correct here, either. We have over 500 billion in gold and foreign currency reserves, rather than 460 billion. But the understanding is that we need to create a safety net that would let us feel confident and use the interest on our existing resources. If we have 7 percent more, we can spend those 7 percent.

    This is what we plan for the next year and there is a high probability that we will succeed. Do not think that this money is just sitting on the shelf. No, it creates certain guarantees for Russia's economic stability in the midterm.

    Lionel Barber: The Central Bank has done a very good job in helping to secure macroeconomic stability even if some of the oligarchs complain about banks being closed.

    Vladimir Putin: You know, first of all, we do not have oligarchs anymore. Oligarchs are those who use their proximity to the authorities to receive super profits. We have large companies, private ones, or with government participation. But I do not know of any large companies that get preferential treatment from being close to the authorities, these are practically non-existent.

    As for the Central Bank, yes, it is engaged in a gradual improvement of our financial system: inefficient and small-capacity companies, as well as semi-criminal financial organisations are leaving the market, and this is large-scale and complicated work.

    It is not about oligarchs or large companies; the thing is that it affects, unfortunately, the interests of the depositor, the average person. We have relevant regulatory acts that minimise people's financial losses and create a certain safety net for them. But each case should be considered individually, of course.

    In general, the work of the Central Bank, in my opinion, deserves support. It is related to both the improvement of the financial system and the calibrated policy regarding the key interest rate.

    [...]

    ... continued below...
    Last edited by Hervé; 1st July 2019 at 16:12.
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  3. Link to Post #2
    France Administrator Hervé's Avatar
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    Default Re: Putin's Interviews, Opinions, Comments, Remarks and Warnings.

    ... continuing:


    Lionel Barber: Mr President, I would like to go back to President Xi and China. As you know, he has pursued a rigorous anticorruption campaign in order to clean up the party, maintain the legitimacy and strengthen the party. He has also read the history of the Soviet Union, where Mr Gorbachev essentially abandoned the party and helped to destroy the country - the Soviet Union. Do you think that Mr Xi is right in his approach that the party is absolutely crucial? And what lessons do you draw for Russia? If I can just add, you said something interesting a few years ago about the breakup of the Soviet Union being the greatest geopolitical tragedy of the 20th century.

    Vladimir Putin: These two issues are not connected. As for the tragedy related to the dissolution of the Soviet Union, this is something obvious. I meant, first of all, the humanitarian aspect of it. It appears that 25 million ethnic Russians were living abroad when they learned from the television and radio that the Soviet Union had ceased to exist. Nobody asked their opinion. The decision was simply made.

    You know, these are issues of democracy. Was there an opinion poll, a referendum? Most (over 70 percent) of the citizens of the USSR spoke in favour of retaining it. Then the decision was made to dissolve the USSR, but nobody asked the people, and 25 million ethnic Russians found themselves living outside the Russian Federation. Listen, is this not a tragedy? A huge one! And family relations? Jobs? Travel? It was nothing but a disaster.

    I was surprised to see the later comments on what I said, in particular, in the Western media. They should try to live through seeing their father, brother or any other close relative finding themselves living in a different country, where a whole new life has started. I assure you.

    As for the party and the party state building in China, this is for the Chinese people to decide; we do not interfere. Today's Russia has its own principles and rules of life, and China with its 1.35 billion people has its own. You try to rule a country with such a population. This is not Luxembourg, with all due respect to this wonderful country. Therefore, it is necessary to give the Chinese people the opportunity to decide how to organise their lives.


    Lionel Barber: Again a big picture question. I talked at the beginning of our conversation about fragmentation. Another phenomenon today is that there is a popular backlash against elites and against the establishment and you have seen that - Brexit in Britain. Perhaps you were speaking about Trump's America. You have seen it with the AFD in Germany; you have seen it in Turkey; and you have seen it in the Arab world. How long do you think that Russia can remain immune to this global movement of backlash against the establishment?

    Vladimir Putin: You should look at the realities in each particular case. Of course, there are some trends, but they are only general. In each particular case, when looking at the situation and how it unfolds, you should take into account the history of the given country, its traditions and realities.

    How long will Russia remain a stable country? The longer the better. Because very many other things and its position in the world depend on stability, on internal political stability. Ultimately, the wellbeing of the people depends, possibly primarily, on stability.

    One of the reasons, the internal reason for the Soviet Union's collapse was that life was difficult for the people, whose take-home wages were very small. The shops were empty, and the people lost the intrinsic desire to preserve the state.

    They thought that it could not get worse no matter what happened. It turned out that life became worse for very many people, especially at the beginning of the 1990s when the social protection and healthcare systems collapsed and industry was crumbling. It could be ineffective, but at least people had jobs. After the collapse, they lost them. Therefore, you should look at each particular case separately.

    What is happening in the West? What is the reason for the Trump phenomenon, as you said, in the United States? What is happening in Europe as well? The ruling elites have broken away from the people. The obvious problem is the gap between the interests of the elites and the overwhelming majority of the people.

    Of course, we must always bear this in mind. One of the things we must do in Russia is never to forget that the purpose of the operation and existence of any government is to create a stable, normal, safe and predictable life for the people and to work towards a better future.

    There is also the so-called liberal idea, which has outlived its purpose. Our Western partners have admitted that some elements of the liberal idea, such as multiculturalism, are no longer tenable.

    When the migration problem came to a head, many people admitted that the policy of multiculturalism is not effective and that the interests of the core population should be considered. Although those who have run into difficulties because of political problems in their home countries need our assistance as well. That is great, but what about the interests of their own population when the number of migrants heading to Western Europe is not just a handful of people but thousands or hundreds of thousands?

    Lionel Barber: Did Angela Merkel make a mistake?

    Vladimir Putin: Cardinal mistake. One can criticise Trump for his intention to build a wall between Mexico and the United States. It could be going too far. Yes, maybe so. I am not arguing about this point. But he had to do something about the huge inflow of migrants and narcotics.

    Nobody is doing anything. They say this is bad and that is bad as well. Tell me, what is good then? What should be done? Nobody has proposed anything. I do not mean that a wall must be built or tariffs raised by 5 percent annually in the economic relations with Mexico. This is not what I am saying, yet something must be done. He is at least looking for a solution.

    What am I driving at? Those who are concerned about this, ordinary Americans, they look at this and say, Good for him, at least he is doing something, suggesting ideas and looking for a solution.

    As for the liberal idea, its proponents are not doing anything. They say that all is well, that everything is as it should be. But is it? They are sitting in their cosy offices, while those who are facing the problem every day in Texas or Florida are not happy, they will soon have problems of their own. Does anyone think about them?

    The same is happening in Europe. I discussed this with many of my colleagues, but nobody has the answer. The say they cannot pursue a hard-line policy for various reasons. Why exactly? Just because. We have the law, they say. Well, then change the law!

    We have quite a few problems of our own in this sphere as well. We have open borders with the former Soviet republics, but their people at least speak Russian. Do you see what I mean? And besides, we in Russia have taken steps to streamline the situation in this sphere. We are now working in the countries from which the migrants come, teaching Russian at their schools, and we are also working with them here. We have toughened the legislation to show that migrants must respect the laws, customs and culture of the country.

    In other words, the situation is not simple in Russia either, but we have started working to improve it. Whereas the liberal idea presupposes that nothing needs to be done. The migrants can kill, plunder and rape with impunity because their rights as migrants must be protected. What rights are these? Every crime must have its punishment.

    So, the liberal idea has become obsolete. It has come into conflict with the interests of the overwhelming majority of the population. Or take the traditional values. I am not trying to insult anyone, because we have been condemned for our alleged homophobia as it is. But we have no problems with LGBT persons. God forbid, let them live as they wish. But some things do appear excessive to us.

    They claim now that children can play five or six gender roles. I cannot even say exactly what genders these are, I have no notion. Let everyone be happy, we have no problem with that. But this must not be allowed to overshadow the culture, traditions and traditional family values of millions of people making up the core population.

    Lionel Barber: Does that include - this is very important, like you say - the end of this liberal idea, because - what else did you say - uncontrolled immigration, open borders, definitely, as you say, diversity as an organizing principle in society? What else do you think is just finished over in terms of the liberal idea? And would you say - if I could just add - that religion therefore must play an important role in terms of national culture and cohesiveness?

    Vladimir Putin: It should play its current role.It [religion] cannot be pushed out of this cultural space. We should not abuse anything.

    Russia is an Orthodox Christian nation, and there have always been problems between Orthodox Christianity and the Catholic world. This is exactly why I will now say a few words about Catholics. Are there any problems there? Yes, there are, but they cannot be over-exaggerated and used for destroying the Roman Catholic Church itself. This is what cannot be done.

    Sometimes, I get the feeling that these liberal circles are beginning to use certain elements and problems of the Catholic Church as a tool for destroying the Church itself. This is what I consider to be incorrect and dangerous.

    All right, have we forgotten that all of us live in a world based on Biblical values? Even atheists and everyone else live in this world. We do not have to think about this every day, attend church and pray, thereby showing that we are devout Christians or Muslims or Jews. However, deep inside, there must be some fundamental human rules and moral values. In this sense, traditional values are more stable and more important for millions of people than this liberal idea, which, in my opinion, is really ceasing to exist.

    Lionel Barber: So religion, religion is not the opium of the masses?

    Vladimir Putin: No, it is not. But I get the impression that you are detached from religion because it is already 12.45 am Moscow Time, and you continue to torture me. As we say here, there is no fear of God in you, is there? (Laughter)

    Lionel Barber: This is history. I have waited a long time for this. I have got one last question. And thank you for your - go on please.

    Vladimir Putin: Please, go ahead.

    Henry Foy: Mr President, would you say - I was reflecting on what you just said: some of the themes you were referring to would echo in people such as Steve Bannon, and Mr Trump himself, and the groups in Europe who have come to power. Do you think if the end of the liberal idea is over, is now the time of the 'illiberals'? And do you see more and more allies growing around the world to your way of seeing the human existence at the moment?

    Lionel Barber: You know, it seems to me that purely liberal or purely traditional ideas have never existed. Probably, they did once exist in the history of humankind, but everything very quickly ends in a deadlock if there is no diversity. Everything starts to become extreme one way or another.

    Various ideas and various opinions should have a chance to exist and manifest themselves, but at the same time interests of the general public, those millions of people and their lives, should never be forgotten. This is something that should not be overlooked.

    Then, it seems to me, we would be able to avoid major political upheavals and troubles. This applies to the liberal idea as well. It does not mean (I think, this is ceasing to be a dominating factor) that it must be immediately destroyed. This point of view, this position should also be treated with respect.

    They cannot simply dictate anything to anyone just like they have been attempting to do over the recent decades. Diktat can be seen everywhere: both in the media and in real life. It is deemed unbecoming even to mention some topics. But why?

    For this reason, I am not a fan of quickly shutting, tying, closing, disbanding everything, arresting everybody or dispersing everybody. Of course, not. The liberal idea cannot be destroyed either; it has the right to exist and it should even be supported in some things. But you should not think that it has the right to be the absolute dominating factor. That is the point.

    Please.

    Lionel Barber: You really are on the same page as Donald Trump. Mr President, you have been in power for almost 20 years.

    Vladimir Putin: For eighteen years.

    Lionel Barber: You have seen many world leaders. Who do you most admire?

    Vladimir Putin: Peter the Great.

    Lionel Barber: But he is dead.

    Vladimir Putin: He will live as long as his cause is alive just as the cause of each of us. (Laughter). We will live until our cause is alive.

    If you mean any present-day leaders from different countries and states, of the persons that I could communicate with, I was most seriously impressed by former President of France Mr Chirac. He is a true intellectual, a real professor, a very level-headed man as well as very interesting. When he was President, he had his own opinion on every issue, he knew how to defend it and he always respected his partners' opinions.

    In modern-day history, taking a broader view, there are many good and very interesting people.

    Lionel Barber: Peter the Great, the creator of the Greater Russia. Need I say any more? My last question, Mr President. Great leaders always prepare succession. Lee Kuan Yew prepared succession. So please share with us what would the process be by which your successor will be chosen.

    Vladimir Putin: I can tell you without exaggeration that I have always been thinking about this, since 2000. The situation changes and certain demands on people change, too. In the end, and I will say this without theatrics or exaggeration, in the end the decision must be made by the people of Russia. No matter what and how the current leader does, no matter who or how he represents, it is the voter that has the final word, the citizen of the Russian Federation.

    Lionel Barber: So the choice will be approved by the Russian people in a vote? Or through the Duma?

    Vladimir Putin: Why through the Duma? By means of direct secret ballot, universal direct secret ballot. Of course, it is different from what you have in Great Britain. We are a democratic country. (Laughter)

    In your country, one leader has left, and the second leader, who is for all intents and purposes the top figure in the state, is not elected by a direct vote of the people, but by the ruling party.

    It is different in Russia, as we are a democratic country. If our top officials leave for some reason, because they want to retire from politics like Boris Yeltsin, or because their term ends, we hold an election through universal direct secret ballot.

    The same will happen in this case. Of course, the current leader always supports someone, and this support can be substantive if the person supported has the respect and trust of the people, but in the end, the choice is always made by the Russian people.

    Lionel Barber: I cannot resist pointing out that you did take over as president before the election.

    Vladimir Putin: Yes, this is true. So what? I was acting president, and in order to be elected and become the head of state, I had to take part in an election, which I did.

    I am grateful to the Russian people for their trust back then, and after that, in the following elections. It is a great honour to be the leader of Russia.

    Lionel Barber: Mr President, thank you for spending time with the Financial Times in Moscow, in the Kremlin.

    Vladimir Putin: Thank you for your interest in the events in Russia and your interest in what Russia thinks about the current international affairs. And thank you for our interesting conversation today. I believe it was really interesting.

    Thank you very much.
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    Default Re: Putin's Interviews, Opinions, Comments, Remarks and Warnings.

    IMHO, put all the world leaders in a room together and the smartest one will be Vladimir Putin. The way he outfoxed everyone else on Syria was/is epic.

    And, as usual, US foreign policy of tight sanctions on Russia have made her considerably stronger.

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    Default Re: Putin's Interviews, Opinions, Comments, Remarks and Warnings.

    Putins answer are logical and straightforward. No spins. Thus we can verify the veracity logically. for example, he said that if Russia dont do anything in Syria, the international terrorist organization will get stronger presence near Russia. In fact if Russia will not help each nation that is bullied, time will come that most nations will be under disposal by the gangster. It means the gangsters will get stronger and stronger. I think most nations now see that there is a need for nations to come together to protect itself from the gangsters.

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    Administrator Cara's Avatar
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    Default Re: Putin's Interviews, Opinions, Comments, Remarks and Warnings.

    A recent speech given by President Putin. He provides an overview of the global economic situation as well as comments on international systems of interaction. As usual, it’s clear and articulate.

    This is an excerpt, the whole speech is here: http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/60707

    Quote Vladimir Putin made a speech at the plenary session of the St Petersburg International Economic Forum.

    June 7, 2019
    ...
    Russia’s development, simply by virtue of its size, history, culture, the human potential and economic opportunities cannot take place outside the global context, without the correlation of the domestic, national and global agendas.

    So, what is the state of affairs today or at least how do we in Russia see it?

    Technically, global economic growth, and I hope we will mostly talk about that since this is an economic forum, has been positive in the recent period. In 2011–2017, the global economy grew by an annual average of 2.8 percent. In recent years, the relevant figure was a bit over three percent. However, we believe, and countries’ leaders and all of us must frankly admit that regrettably, despite this growth, the existing model of economic relations is still in crisis and this crisis is of a comprehensive nature. Problems in this respect have been piling up throughout the past few decades. They are more serious and larger than it seemed before.

    The architecture of the global economy has changed dramatically since the Cold War as new markets were becoming part of the globalisation process. The dominant model of development based on the Western “liberal” tradition, let us call it Euro-Atlantic for the sake of argument, began to claim not just a global, but also a universal role.

    International trade was the main driver behind the current globalisation model. From 1991 to 2007, it grew more than twice as fast as global GDP. This can be accounted for by the newly opened markets of the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, and goods pouring into these markets. However, this period turned out to be relatively short-lived by historical standards.

    The global crisis of 2008–2009 ensued. It not only exacerbated and revealed imbalances and disproportions, but also showed that global growth mechanisms were beginning to fail. Of course, the international community learned its lesson. However, truth be told, there was not enough will or, perhaps, courage, to sort things out and draw the corresponding conclusions. A simplified approach prevailed whereby the global development model was allegedly quite good and, essentially, nothing needed to be changed since it was enough to eliminate the symptoms and coordinate some rules and institutions in the global economy and finance, and then everything would turn out just fine. There were many hopes and positive expectations back then, but they quickly vanished. Quantitative easing and other measures failed to resolve the problems and only pushed them into the future. I am aware that quantitative easing was discussed at this and other forums. We at the Government and the Presidential Executive Office never stop discussing and debating these matters.

    I will now cite data from the World Bank and the IMF. Before the crisis of 2008–2009, the global trade in goods and services to global GDP ratio was constantly growing, but then the trend reversed. It is a fact, there is no such growth anymore. The global trade to global GDP ratio of 2008 has never been recovered. In fact, global trade ceased to be the unconditional driver behind the global economy. The new engine represented by state-of-the-art technology is still being fine-tuned and not operating at full capacity. Moreover, the global economy has entered a period of trade wars and mounting direct or covert protectionism.

    What are the sources of the crisis in international economic relations? What undermines trust between the world economic players? I think the main reason is that the model of globalisation offered in the late 20th century is increasingly at odds with the rapidly emerging new economic reality.

    In the past three decades, the share of advanced countries in the global GDP in purchasing power parity decreased from 58 to 40 percent. In the G7 it dropped from 46 to 30 percent, whereas the weight of the countries with developing markets is growing. Such rapid development of new economies that, apart from their interests, have their own development platforms and views on globalisation and regional integration processes does not correlate well with the ideas that seemed immutable relatively recently.

    The previous patterns essentially put the Western countries into an exclusive position and we should be straight about this. These patterns gave them an advantage and an enormous rent, thereby predetermining their leadership. Other countries simply had to follow in their wake. Of course, much happened and is still happening to the accompaniment of talk about equality. I will speak about this as well. And when this comfortable, familiar system began to grow rickety and competition grew, ambitions and a striving to preserve one’s domination at all costs surged. Under the circumstances, the states that previously preached the principles of free trade and honest and open competition began to talk in terms of trade wars and sanctions, and resorted to undisguised economic raids with arms twisting, intimidation and the removal of rivals by so-called non-market methods.

    Look, there are many examples of this. I will only mention those that concern us directly and that are common knowledge. Take, for example, the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. I saw in the hall our partners who work with it professionally, not only Russians but also our friends from Europe. This project is designed to enhance energy security in Europe and create new jobs. It fully meets the national interests of all participants, both European and Russian. If it did not meet these interests, we would have never seen our European partners in it. Who could force them into this project? They came because they were interested in it.

    But this does not match the logic and interests of those who became used to exclusiveness and anything-goes behavior in the framework of the existing universalist model. They are used to letting others pay their bills; therefore, endless attempts to torpedo this project are made. It is alarming that this destructive practice has not only affected traditional energy, raw materials and commodity markets but it has also leaked into new industries that are now taking shape. Take the situation with Huawei. Attempts are being made not just to challenge it on the global market but to actually restrict it in an off-handed manner. Some circles already call this “the first technological war” to break out in the digital era.

    It would appear that rapid digital transformation and technologies that are quickly changing industries, markets and professions, are designed to expand the horizons for anyone who is willing and open to change. Unfortunately, here too barriers are being built and direct bans on high-tech asset purchases are being imposed. It has come to the point where even the number of foreign students for certain specialties is limited. Frankly, I find it hard to wrap my mind around this fact. Nevertheless, this is all happening in reality. Surprising, but true.

    Monopoly is invariably about concentrating revenue in the hands of a few at the expense of everyone else. In this sense, attempts to monopolise an innovation-driven technology wave and to limit access to its fruits take the problems of global inequality between countries and regions and within states to a whole new level. This, as we all know, is the main source of instability. It is not just about the level of income or financial inequality, but fundamental differences in opportunities for people.

    In essence, an attempt is being made to build two worlds, the gap between which is constantly widening. In this situation, certain people have access to the most advanced systems of education and healthcare and modern technology, while others have few prospects or even chances to break out of poverty, with some people balancing on the verge of survival.

    Today, more than 800 million people around the world do not have basic access to drinking water, and about 11 percent of the world's population is undernourished. A system based on ever-increasing injustice will never be stable or balanced.

    Exacerbating environmental and climatic challenges that represent a direct threat to the socioeconomic well-being of all humankind are making the crisis even worse. Climate and the environment have become an objective factor in global development and a problem fraught with large-scale shocks, including another uncontrolled surge in migration, more instability and undermined security in key regions of the planet. At the same time, there is a high risk that instead of joint efforts to address environmental and climate issues, we will run into attempts to use this issue for unfair competition.

    Ladies and gentlemen,

    Today we are facing two extremes, two possible scenarios for further development. The first is the degeneration of the universalist globalisation model and its turning into a parody, a caricature of itself, where common international rules are replaced with the laws, administrative and judicial mechanisms of one country or a group of influential states. I state with regret that this is what the US is doing today when it extends its jurisdiction to the entire world. Incidentally, I spoke about this 12 years ago. Such a model not only contradicts the logic of normal interstate communication and the shaping realities of a complicated multipolar world but, most importantly, it does not meet the goals of the future.

    The second scenario is a fragmentation of the global economic space by a policy of completely unlimited economic egoism and a forced breakdown. But this is the road to endless conflict, trade wars and maybe not just trade wars. Figuratively, this is the road to the ultimate fight of all against all.

    So what is the solution? I am referring to a real solution rather than utopian or ephemeral one. Obviously, new agreements will be needed for drafting a more stable and fair development model. These agreements should not only be written clearly but should also be observed by all participants. However, I am convinced that talk about an economic world order like this will remain wishful thinking unless we return to the centre of the discussion, that is, notions like sovereignty, the unconditional right of every country to its own development road and, let me add, responsibility for universal sustainable development, not just for one’s own development.

    What should be the subject of discussion in terms of regulating such agreements and such a common legal environment? Certainly not the imposition of a single and the only correct canon for all countries, but above all, the harmonisation of national economic interests, principles of teamwork, competition and cooperation between countries with their own individual development models, peculiarities and interests. The drafting of such principles should be carried out with maximum openness and in the most democratic manner.

    It is on this foundation that the system of world trade should be adapted to current realities and the efficiency of the World Trade Organisation enhanced. Other international institutions should be filled with new meaning and content rather than broken. It is necessary to sincerely consider, rather than just talk about the requirements and interests of the developing nations, including those that are upgrading their industry, agriculture and social services. This is what equal conditions for development is all about.

    Incidentally, we suggest considering the creation of an open, accessible data bank with the best practices and development projects. Russia is ready to publish its successful case studies in the social, demographic and economic areas on an information platform, and invites other countries and international organisations to join this initiative.

    With regard to finance, the main global institutions were created as part of the Bretton Woods system 75 years ago. The Jamaican currency system that replaced it in the 1970s confirmed the preference of the US dollar but, in fact, failed to resolve the key problems, primarily, the balance of currency relations and trade exchanges. New economic centres have appeared since then, the role of regional currencies has increased, and the balance of forces and interests has changed. Clearly, in the wake of these profound changes, international financial organisations need to adapt and reconsider the role of the dollar, which, as a global reserve currency, has now become an instrument of pressure exerted by the issuing country on the rest of the world.

    Incidentally, I believe the US financial authorities and political centres are making a big mistake as they are undermining their own competitive edge that appeared after the creation of the Bretton Woods system. Confidence in the dollar is simply plummeting.

    The technological development agenda must unite countries and people, not divide them. For this, we need fair parameters for interaction in key areas such as high-tech services, education, technology transfer, innovative digital economy branches and the global information space. Yes, building such a harmonious system is certainly challenging, but this is the best recipe for restoring mutual trust, as we have no alternative.

    We need to join our efforts, being fully cognizant of the scale of the new era’s global challenges and our responsibility for the future. To do so, we need to use the potential of the UN, which is a unique organisation in terms of representation. We should strengthen its economic institutions and use new associations like the Group of 20 more effectively. Pending the creation of a set of rules like this, we need to act in accordance with the current situation and actual problems and have a realistic understanding of what is happening in the world.

    As a first step, we propose, speaking diplomatically, to conduct a kind of demilitarisation of the key areas of the global economy and trade, namely, to make the distribution of essential items such as medicines and medical equipment immune to trade and sanctions wars. (Applause.) Thank you very much for your understanding. That also includes utilities and energy, which help reduce the impact on the environment and climate. This, as you understand, concerns areas that are crucial for the life and health of millions, one might even say, billions of people, our entire planet.

    Colleagues,

    The current global trends show that a country’s role, its sovereignty and place in the modern system of reference are determined by several key factors. They are undoubtedly the ability to ensure the safety of its citizens, to preserve its national identity and also to contribute to the progress of world culture. And there are at least three more factors that, in our opinion, are of key significance. Let me expand on that.

    The first factor is a person’s wellbeing and prosperity, opportunities to discover their talents.

    The second factor is the society’s and state’s receptiveness to sweeping technological change.

    And the third factor is freedom of entrepreneurial initiative.
    ...
    *I have loved the stars too dearly to be fearful of the night*

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    Default Re: Putin's Interviews, Opinions, Comments, Remarks and Warnings.

    ...

    So... that's why everything is blamed on Russia and Putin:

    Czech military expert: Russia was to be dismembered in the ’90s

    By Drago Bosnic
    Last updated Jul 27, 2019



    Brno, Czech Republic – Russia was to be dismembered just like Yugoslavia – in place of the largest country in the world, about ten new state entities were supposed to emerge. This opinion was expressed by Stanislav Balik, an expert at the Military Academy in the Czech city of Brno.

    In an interview with the Haló noviny newspaper, retired Major Balik said that in 2000 Putin saved Russia “at the very last moment.”
    “Money had already been printed for those parts of Russia that were supposed to become independent. Russia was going to dismember just like Yugoslavia. Instead of Russia, there were supposed to be about ten new states, so as to finally colonize and plunder what was left of the USSR. It was to suffer the fate of modern Ukraine, which has already begun to split up. With Russia as a state planned to end forever, Russians would turn into powerless slaves who would work for beggarly wages for Western corporations, primarily American, German and British,” said Balik.
    According to the Czech expert, the question of the liquidation of Russia both during the First and the Second World Wars was linked to the raw material wealth of the country.
    “It doesn’t matter what the regime in Russia is. The West has always wanted to destroy Russia as a state. Such plans were made even after the First World War when the Entente supported the ‘white generals’, who were to be manipulated in becoming an instrument for the liquidation of Russia. The second time, Hitler tried to do this, who without the help of the West would not have risen in such a way and would not have obtained the kind of army he had. Hitler’s attempt also failed, and it cost the lives of nearly 27 million Soviet citizens. Today we are brainwashed, distorting the history of Russia. It was always presented as an aggressor. And any sympathy from the West was caused only by Yeltsin’s suicidal policies. Putin’s patriotic policies are denounced as aggressive, allegedly threatening Europe and the whole world,” says Stanislav Balik.
    We should add that the words of the Czech military analyst about the “ten state formations” instead of Russia are interrelated with the revelations of the ex-deputy head of the Russian Foreign Ministry Andrei Fyodorov, who in an interview to the Finnish Helsingin Sanomat told about the list of potential new regions of the newly-created Russian Federation in the early 1990s. Along with “lost Karelia”, the list included the Kuril Islands, the Pytalovsky district of the Pskov region, the Kaliningrad region, the Crimea and the Amur river border area with China.
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    Default Re: Putin's Interviews, Opinions, Comments, Remarks and Warnings.

    Well, at least one swamp is being drained...


    Putin dismisses 10 generals for corruption including Melnikov, accused of fraud

    TASS
    Mon, 04 Nov 2019 12:13 UTC
    translated from the original Russian.


    © Alexey Nikolsky / TASS

    Russian President Vladimir Putin, by his decree, dismissed more than 10 generals of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation, the Ministry of Emergencies and the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

    As follows from a presidential decree published on Monday on the official Internet portal of legal information, including Police Major General, First Deputy Head of the Main Directorate for Public Order Protection of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia Alexander Melnikov, who is being held in a pre-trial detention center on charges of fraud.

    In total, six Emergencies Ministry generals were dismissed from their posts by decree of the head of state, four by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and one by the IC.

    In addition, the president, by his decree, also appointed Lieutenant General of the Internal Service Igor Kobzev as deputy head of the Russian Emergencies Ministry - the chief state fire inspector of the Russian Federation. Police Colonel Dmitry Baranov was appointed Deputy Head of the Main Directorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation for St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region - Chief of Police.

    According to the document, Colonel of the Internal Service Aleksey Chirikov was appointed head of the Federal Penitentiary Service for the Republic of Bashkortostan, Lieutenant General of Justice Kirill Levit was appointed head of the Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation in the Voronezh Region, Major General of Justice Vyacheslav Sukhorukov - head of the Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation in the Republic of Buryatia. In addition, Sergei Krapetyan by this decree was appointed prosecutor of the Smolensk region.

    By another decree, the Russian president awarded the special ranks of senior commanding officers (lieutenant general of the police, major general of the internal service, major general of justice) to 16 employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.


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    "La réalité est un rêve que l'on fait atterrir" San Antonio AKA F. Dard

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    Default Re: Putin's Interviews, Opinions, Comments, Remarks and Warnings.

    Putin: New World Order Worships Satan

    By Jonas E. Alexis -
    November 12, 2019 0

    “It is worth noting that Russia and Iran – the two nations most successfully resisting NWO regime change – are doing so in the name of God…. Putin’s reference to Satanism was a pointed rebuke to the New World Order elites..."



    …by Jonas E. Alexis

    During the Cold War, it was meticulously and rightly argued by scholars of various stripes that the Soviet Union created was known as “godless communists.”[1] These “godless communists” built their ideology on Marxism/Leninism, an essentially diabolical system which sought to eradicate religion during that era.[2]

    These “godless communists” failed miserably largely because you cannot fight Logos and win. Moreover, the fact that Russia has thrived over the years is a clear indication that Alexander Solzhenitsyn was right all along. Back in 2013, Vladimir Putin changed the political calculus by saying that much of the West was committing political suicide. How?

    Ideologues, said Putin, were surreptitiously declaring that “faith in God is equal to faith in Satan.” For many, that was an interesting move by Putin. As Patrick Buchanan put it then, “In the new war of beliefs, Putin is saying, it is Russia that is on God’s side. The West is Gomorrah.”[3] Putin said:

    “Many Euro-Atlantic countries have moved away from their roots, including Christian values. Policies are being pursued that place on the same level a multi-child family and a same-sex partnership, a faith in God and a belief in Satan. This is the path to degradation.”[4]

    [...]

    Certainly Putin put the moral equation back on the table. Kevin Barrett declared that Putin was trying to “put the fear of God in the New World Order.” Barrett moved on to make the forceful argument that much of the Zionist establishment in the West is afraid of Putin because the establishment leaves in fear. “Russian President Putin is resisting,” said Barrett. “That is why the Western propaganda machine is calling him names.” Barrett continued to argue cogently:

    “It is worth noting that Russia and Iran – the two nations most successfully resisting NWO regime change – are doing so in the name of God…. Putin’s reference to Satanism was a pointed rebuke to the New World Order elites, who – though they push militant secularism on the societies they are trying to undermine – are closet Satanists.

    “Anyone who doubts this should run the name ‘Lt. Col. Michael Aquino’ through a search engine. Aquino, an avowed Satanist and credibly-accused mass child abuser, was rewarded for his crimes against children with an appointment as Chief of Psychological Warfare for the US military…

    “The shock troops of the NWO’s war against religion and tradition (and Russia and Iran) are the neoconservatives. Operation Gladio terrorist Michael Ledeen explains:
    “‘Creative destruction is our middle name, both within our society and abroad. We tear down the old order every day, from business to science, literature, art, architecture, and cinema to politics and the law. Our enemies have always hated this whirlwind of energy and creativity which menaces their traditions (whatever they may be) and shames them for their inability to keep pace … We must destroy them to advance our historic mission.’
    [...]

    Going back to Putin, he said in 2013:
    “People in many European countries are ashamed, and are afraid of talking about their religious convictions. [Religious] holidays are being taken away or called something else, shamefully hiding the essence of the holiday.”[24]

    The Zionist regime, of course, made the false accusation that Putin was persecuting homosexuals. But Putin moved on to diffuse the regime’s silly argument this way: “We need to respect the rights of minorities to be different, but the rights of the majority should not be in question.”[25]

    [...]

    But the real question is this: why did puppets of the current regime hate Putin so much? Well, Putin suggested back in 2013 the Soviet government was guided by a dark force whose “ideological goggles and faulty ideological perceptions collapsed.”[34]

    “The first Soviet government,” Putin added, “was 80-85 percent Jewish.”[35] Sounds like Putin has read Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s Two Hundred Years Together. If so, then it seems clear that much of the entire media had good reasons to fear him. Perhaps Putin has been encouraged by Solzhenitsyn’s bravery. It was Solzhenitsyn who said:
    “And thus, overcoming our temerity, let each man choose: will he remain a witting servant of the lies, or has the time come for him to stand straight as an honest man, worthy of the respect of his children and contemporaries?”[36]
    Putin was saying enough is enough. And this maybe one reason why nearly all the major news outlets were relentlessly slandering him. Kevin Barrett ended up his excellent article saying, “God bless President Putin, who is putting the fear of God into the New World Order.” Let us hope that he will never be weary in well doing, for in due season he shall reap, if he faints not.


    This slightly altered article was first published in the summer of 2015.

    Full article: https://www.veteranstoday.com/2019/1...orships-satan/


    • [1] See for example William Husband, “Godless Communists”: Atheism and Society in Soviet Russia, 1917–1932 (DeKalb: Northern Illinois University Press, 2002); Daniel Peris, Storming the Heavens: The Soviet League of the Militant Godless (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1998).
    • [2] See for example Sabrina Petra Ramet, Religious Policy in the Soviet Union (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), 4; for similar studies, see also John Anderson, Religion, State and Politics in the Soviet Union and Successor States (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994).
    • [3] Patrick J. Buchanan, “Vladimir Putin, Christian Crusader?,” American Conservative, April 4, 2014.
    • [4] Marc Bennetts, “Who’s ‘godless’ now? Russia says it’s U.S.,” Washington Times, January 28, 2014.
    • [6] Peter Pomerantsev, “For God and Putin,” Newsweek, September 10, 2012.
    • [7] Seth Mandel, Contentions: Putin Vs. the Punk Rockers,” Commentary, August 17, 2012.
    • [8] E. Michael Jones has made this very point in his article “Ethnos Needs Logos: or Why I spent Three Days in Guadalajara Trying to Convince David Duke to Become a Catholic,” Culture Wars, June 2015.
    • [9] Michael Ruse, “God is dead. Long live morality,” Guardian, March 15, 2010.
    • [13] Bradley A. Thayer, Darwin and International Relations: On the Evolutionary Origins of War and Ethnic Conflict (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2004), 96.
    • [14] Ibid., 99, 100, 107, 114.
    • [17] Ibid., 103, 104.
    • [20] Ibid. 110, 111.
    • [21] Darwin, Origin of Species, 459.
    • [22] For a decent historical study on this, see for example Gertrude Himmelfarb, Darwin and the Darwinian Revolution (Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 1962). Darwin was not as open-minded as people thought he was. “Former Darwin enthusiast St. George Mivart published anonymous articles critiquing Darwin’s theory. A gifted zoologist, Mivart would eventually publish a volume titled The Genesis of Species, an influential book that raised serious questions about the limits of natural selection, especially in its application to man. Far from rejecting Darwin wholesale, Mivart continued to embrace evolution and believe that the physical capacities of human beings had developed from the lower animals. But he continued to insist—like [Alfred] Wallace—that man was radically unique from the rest of creation and had a soul. Egged on by Thomas Huxley, Darwin became increasingly bitter over his former disciple’s criticisms, despite Mivart’s attempts to be personable in private correspondence and his public praise of the ‘invaluable labours and active brains of Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace.” John G. West, Darwin Day in America: How Our Politics and Culture Have Been Dehumanized in the Name of Science (Wilmington: ISI Books, 2007).
    • [23] See Denis L. Krebs, The Origins of Morality (New York: Oxford University, 2011), 41-42.
    • [24] Neil Buckley, “Putin urges Russians to return to values of religion,” Financial Times, September 19, 2013.
    • [26] Friedrich Hansen, “Putin Stands Up to Western Decadence,” Asia Times, February 28, 2014.
    • [27] Owen Matthews, “Vladimir Putin’s new plan for world domination,” Spectator, February 22, 2014.
    • [30] Owen Jones, “David Cameron and the cynicism of comparing Putin to Hitler,” Guardian, September 3, 2014.
    • [31] Michael Kelley, “11 Prominent People Who Compared Putin To Hitler,” Business Insider, May 23, 2014.
    • [32] Paul Johnson, “Is Vladimir Putin Another Adolf Hitler?,” Forbes, April 16, 2014.
    • [34] “Putin: First Soviet government was mostly Jewish,” Jerusalem Post, June 20, 2013.
    • [36] Alexander Solzhenitsyn, The Solzhenitsyn Reader (Wilmington: ISI Books, 2007), 558.
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