Russian President Vladimir Putin appeared on international discussion forum Valdai on October 24 in Sochi. During his speech, Putin cracked down on the US-led politics in the Middle East and the rest of the world, opposing the thesis of American exceptionalism, TASS reports.
Addressing members of the forum, Putin said: "I will not disappoint you. I will be straightforward and frank. Some things may seem to be too tough. But if we do not speak openly and honestly about what we really think, then there is no point in gathering here in this format. We'd have to gather for some diplomatic rounds, where no one really says anything," he said.
Putin devoted a lot in his speech to the United States and its role in the world. The president spoke strongly against the thesis of exceptionalism of the United States, saying that such an approach escalates conflicts and develops extremist regimes.
"Maybe, the exceptionalism of the United States in how it exercises its leadership is good indeed? Maybe their widespread interference in all actions in the world brings peace, tranquility and well-being? Progress and prospering democracy?" Putin asked rhetorically.
In his view, imposition of unilateral diktat and standards brings absolutely opposite results. "Instead of conflict regulation, we have their escalation; instead of stable sovereign states, we have growing chaos; instead of democracy, we have the support of doubtful audiences - from neo-Nazis to Islamic radicals."
Putin is certain that the world order is changing, "national sovereignty" is blurred, whereas foreign leaders are subject to blackmail.
According to Vladimir Putin, the global security system is seriously weakened. There is no guarantee that it will be able to protect the world from turmoil, Interfax reports.
Putin believes that world order usually changes amid serious conflicts. "Let us not forget, analyzing the current state of affairs, lessons of history. First off, world order change - this is the phenomenon that we see today - is usually accompanied if not by global war and global collisions, then by a chain of violent conflicts of local character," said the president of the Russian Federation.
"There are a lot of contradictions that the world has accumulated. Let's openly ask each other - do we have a reliable safety net? Unfortunately, there are no guarantees that the current system of global and regional security can save us from turmoil. This system has been seriously weakened, fragmented and distorted."
According to the Russian leader, the strength of the current system in the world today, including the outcome of the Second World War, was based "not only on the balance of power and the right of the winners, but also on the fact that the founding fathers of this security system respected each other. They were not trying to take it all, but were trying to negotiate," said Putin.
According to him, "the United States, having declared itself the winner of the cold war, started taking steps to deepen imbalances, rather than establish a new balance of power, which is a mandatory condition for order and stability," said Putin.
According to the Russian leader, "the term of national sovereignty for most states has become a relative notion." "In fact, the following formula was proposed - the stronger the loyalty to the only center of power in the world, the higher the legitimacy of a regime," the president said, referring to the United States.
In addition, many foreign leaders are subject to blatant intimidation, including the use of modern surveillance technology, Putin said. "Measures of influence on those who disobey are well known and have been repeatedly tested: military actions, economic and propaganda pressure, interference in internal affairs," he said. It has been established recently that they use blackmail against a number of leaders. No wonder the big brother spends billions," Putin said.
Russia has no plans to create blocks on the principle of "exchange of blows," nor does Russia intend to restore an "empire," said the president of the Russian Federation.
"We are not going to either knock together any blocks or get involved in "an exchange of blows." "Allegations saying that Russia is trying to restore some kind of empire, infringing upon its neighbors' sovereignty are groundless. Russia does not require any special, exclusive place in the world. Respecting the interests of others, we want others to take our interests into account," Putin said.
"We have a positive, peaceful agenda of integration. We actively work with our colleagues in the Eurasian Economic Union, SCO, BRICS and other partners. This agenda is aimed at the development of relations between states, rather than separation," he added.
"Our priorities are to further improve institutions of democracy and open economy, accelerate internal development with an eye to all positive trends in the modern world, consolidate the society based on traditional values and patriotism," said Putin.
According to the Russian leader, now the United States has to overcome the mistakes of its own foreign policy in the fight against terrorism.
"It seems at times that our friends and colleagues are constantly struggling with the results of their own politics. They throw their power to eliminate the risks that they create themselves and pay the ever-increasing price for it," Putin said.
"Russia has repeatedly warned against the dangers of unilateral use of force, intervention in affairs of sovereign states and toying with extremists and radicals. We insisted that the groups fighting against the central Syrian government, ISIL in the first place, should be put on the list of terrorist organizations. All was worthless," he said.
According to Putin, the West supports Islamists "to achieve certain goals, and then they burn fingers on that." Putin noted that against the backdrop of domination of one country and its satellites, the search for global solutions often turns into an aspiration to impose their own recipes as universal."
The Russian president said that terrorists sell oil at bargain prices, and those who buy and resell it, actually finance terrorism. According to the Russian leader, the production of this oil takes place on terrorist-controlled territories. "They sell it at bargain prices, they produce and transport it. Some people buy and resell this oil without hesitation, thereby financing terrorists, who sooner or later may come to their territory, sowing death in their country."
Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Viktor Yanukovych, after the coup in Kiev, was staying for some time in the Crimea, where he arrived with Russia's assistance. Afterwards, he requested to be taken to Russia.
"I will not hide that we helped him move to the Crimea, and he was staying there for a few days, in the Crimea. At that time, the Crimea was still a part of Ukraine, but as the events in Kiev were developing very quickly and rapidly, it made no sense for him to go back to Kiev," Putin said during the meeting with participants of Valdai Discussion Club.
According to him, returning to Kiev would have been too dangerous for Yanukovych. The president reminded that several members of the Party of Regions were killed at that time in Kiev. "The general public does not know that, but there were murders committed there, people were burnt alive. They entered an office of the Party of Regions, took technical workers there, killed them and burned them in the basement," said Putin.
In these circumstances, Yanukovych appealed to be flown to Russia. "He asked to take him to Russia, and that what we did," said the Russian president.