Speaking to a conference of Russian Federation ambassadors and permanent representatives in Moscow, as well as leading government ministries, yesterday, Russian president Vladimir Putin provided a top-down, sober overview of the world strategic situation in a lengthy speech that makes most of the world’s heads of state look like half-witted buffoons.
Coming in the immediate aftermath of the Ukrainian government’s decision to end the ceasefire in the southeastern part of the nation, President Putin’s remarks gave particular prominence to that event. His message was underscored in a press statement by the Foreign Ministry yesterday. Ria Novosti reported the event as follows:
“External influence pushed Kiev to decide against extending the ceasefire in southeast Ukraine, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement Tuesday. ‘There’s an impression that Kiev’s change in position, including its announcement late on June 30 on the non-extension of the ceasefire regime, happened regardless of the position of leading EU members,’ the ministerial statement reads, suggesting ‘external influence’ underlay Kiev’s decision.” That “external influence” would most likely be the United States.
Leading elements of President Putin’s address, as translated into English and posted on the Kremlin website, are as follows:
“…You know how dynamic and unpredictable international developments may sometimes be. They seem to be pressed together and unfortunately are not all of a positive nature. The potential for conflict is growing in the world, old contradictions are growing ever more acute and new ones are being provoked. We come across such developments, often unexpectedly, and we observe with regret that international law is not working, the most basic norms of decency are not complied with and the principle of all-permissiveness is gaining the upper hand…”
“We are observing this in Ukraine as well. We need to understand clearly that the events provoked in Ukraine are the concentrated outcome of the notorious containment policy. As you may know, its roots go deep into history and it is clear that unfortunately, this policy did not end with the end of the Cold War….”
“I would like to stress that what happened in Ukraine was the climax of the negative tendencies in international affairs that had been building up for years. We have long been warning about this, and unfortunately, our predictions came true. …
“More new hotspots are appearing on the world map. There is a deficit of security in Europe, in the Middle East, South-East Asia, in the Asia-Pacific region and in Africa. The global economic, financial and trade systems are becoming unbalanced, and moral and spiritual values are being washed out.”
“There is hardly any doubt that the unipolar world order did not come to be. Peoples and countries are raising their voices in favor of self-determination and civilizational and cultural identity, which conflicts with the attempts by certain countries to maintain their domination in the military sphere, in politics, finance, the economy and in ideology.”
The rest of the speech, which has not been completely transcribed, dealt with Russia’s policy aims of cooperation, including economic cooperation. He dealt with the Eurasian Economic Union, but emphasized it was not to the exclusion of cooperation with the European Union, and pushed the South Stream project.