According to Russian President Vladimir Putin, authorities of Western countries cling to the shadows of the past and believe that the dominance of the West will be constantly preserved. However, nothing lasts forever, Putin said.
The changes that are currently taking place in the world are fundamental in their nature. The world will not be as it was before, President Vladimir Putin said in his speech at the plenary session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.
"It is erroneous to believe that one can sit and wait when the time of turbulent changes goes by, when everything goes back to where it was. It won't," Putin said.
According to him, the changes are fundamental, "crucial and inexorable” in nature. However, the ruling elites of Western countries live in their illusions and do not want to notice the obvious. Instead, they "cling to the shadows of the past."
"For example, they believe that the dominance of the West in global politics and economy is a constant and eternal value. Nothing lasts forever," Putin said. According to him, Russia's partners deny reality and try to counteract the course of history.
The European Union has finally lost its political sovereignty. The actions of European politicians will lead to degradation, serious socio-economic changes, and to a future change of elites, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at his speech during SPIEF-2022.
"The European Union has finally lost its political sovereignty. Its bureaucratic elites are dancing to someone else's tune, accepting whatever they are told from above, while causing harm to their own population and their own economy,” Putin said.
He compared European elections to a "screen" that makes it possible for similar political forces to come and go in rotation. The Russian president believes that the policy of the European authorities will cause the Europeans to split not only in terms of welfare issues, but also in terms of their values.
"Such a divorce from reality, from the demands of society, will inevitably lead to a surge of populism and the growth of radical movements, to serious social and economic changes, to degradation, and in the near future, to a change of elites,” Putin said.
Western countries wrongfully believed that their sanctions against Russia would crush the Russian economy. Their expectations have not materialized, President Vladimir Putin said. According to him, Russia needs to take advantage of the moment and develop its economy further.
The sanctions that Western countries have imposed against Russia are thoughtless and insane, Putin said during his speech at the SPIEF. The tempo at which they have been imposed, as well as the number of restrictions that Russia has faced is unprecedented, he said.
"The goal was understandable — to crush the Russian economy violently, to destroy business chains, forcefully recall Western companies from the Russian market, freeze domestic assets in order to affect industry and finance, the standard of living of citizens. It hasn't worked out. Obviously it hasn't. It has not materialised," Putin stressed.
According to him, the sanctions failed due to coordinated actions of the government, business and citizens, who "showed unity and responsibility."
"First we stabilized the financial sector, then we began to saturate the economy with liquidity and working capital to maintain stability of enterprises and companies, to preserve employment and jobs. Gloomy predictions about the prospects for the Russian economy have not come true to life,” Putin said.
Pessimistic forecasts about the future of the Russian economy, as well as the mantra about the dollar worth two hundred rubles, were part of the information struggle.
EU's direct losses from "the sanctions hysteria" may exceed $400 billion during the upcoming year.
"This is the price of decisions that were divorced from reality and taken contrary to common sense," Putin said.
According to him, "the very construction of Western sanctions" was built on the false thesis about Russia being critically vulnerable and not sovereign from the point of view of economy.
"They were so carried away by the myth about the backwardness of Russia and the weakness of Russia's position in the world economy and trade that they believed that myth themselves,” the president said.
Western countries began to impose sanctions against Russia after the start of the special military operation in Ukraine. The goals of the operation, as Putin claimed, are to protect residents of Donbass from "genocide committed by the Kyiv regime." In response, Ukraine severed diplomatic relations with Russia, implemented martial law and mobilisation.
Since the end of February, EU countries have imposed six packages of sanctions against Russia. The restrictions, among other things, include a partial embargo on Russian oil supplies, financial sanctions, sectoral restrictions and sanctions against a number of individuals.
The Russian president advised those who lost their assets abroad "not to step on an old rake." He advised big business representatives and their children to link their future with Russia, rather than foreign countries.
"Real, long-lasting success, a sense of dignity and self-respect comes only when you link your future, the future of your children with your homeland,” the head of state said.
"The recent events have only confirmed what I said earlier: it's safer at home. Those who did not want to hear this obvious message have lost hundreds of millions, if not billions of dollars in the West,” Putin said.
"Please do not step on the old rake. Our country has a gigantic potential, and there is no end to all the tasks that require a lot of efforts. Invest here, invest in the creation of new businesses and jobs, in the development of tourism infrastructure, support schools, universities, healthcare, social services, culture and sports. I know that many people do this,” the president said.
"Import substitution is not a panacea: if we only repeat what others do, we risk falling into the position of those who are constantly catching up with others,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said during his speech at the plenary session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF).
According to the President, Russia has paid much attention to import substitution during the recent years. The country has managed to achieve success in a number of areas — in particular, in the military-industrial complex, in the production of medicines, medical equipment, in the military-industrial complex.
Russia needs to be one step ahead, create its own competitive technologies, goods and services that will set new world standards.
"As for China and the rest of Asia — there are centers of world development that have emerged there. Look at China's GDP … We are interested in cooperating with China, but this does not mean that they should play along with us," Putin also said.
It is only strong and sovereign countries that do not follow someone else's directions that will be able to set the rules of the new world order.
"It is important not only to defend our political sovereignty, national identity, but also to strengthen everything that determines the economic independence of the country, its financial, personnel, technological independence and self-sufficiency,” he said.
During his speech, Putin also said that Russia would face new risks and challenges. The construction of a new world order is associated with immense difficulties that one can not even imagine yet. Russia will only become stronger as a result of those challenges, he added.
When making decisions, one should be guided by the main question of what Russia needs first - packaging today or sovereignty and development for the future, said President Vladimir Putin at the SPIEF.
Forum moderator, RT editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan showed Putin the new juice packaging: a white carton with a picture of a colored carton painted on it. She noted that this was due to the depletion of paint and the departure of manufacturers from Russia. Simonyan also recalled the departure of Siemens from Russia - the company that supplied and maintained Sapsan high-speed trains in Russia.
“Always, when making any decisions, one needs to isolate the main thing. What is the main thing for us? To be independent, self-sufficient, sovereign and ensure development for the future, or to have a packaging today? If we do not have sovereignty, then in the near future we will have to import everything. We will be able to produce only oil, gas, stump plants, saddles and sell round timber abroad. It is inevitable,” Putin said.
According to him, it is only sovereign countries that may count on a sovereign future. But this does not mean that Russia should go 30-50 years back, Putin said.
“As for packaging, I don’t think it’s such a complicated thing that we won’t be able to replace it. Our partners from other countries will be happy to occupy this market sooner or later or we will be able to do it ourselves,” the president said.
Speaking about the current crisis in Ukraine, Putin said the following:
“Fighting is always a tragedy. Yet, this is a forced action that we had to make. We were forced to do it - that's the whole point. We were just dragged to this line.”
"Even during the special operation, we must not turn the liberated territories into a semblance of Stalingrad."
"We have nothing against whether or not Ukraine joins the EU."
"Russia will respect any choice that the residents of the liberated territories will make. It is only up to them to decide their own fate."
Putin about nuclear weapons: We do not threaten anyone.