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Achieving self-sufficiency crucial for sovereignty — Putin

The president emphasized that Russia will turn into a decrepit and worthless country unless it defends its own people

TULA, February 2. /TASS/. The main sign that a country is sovereign is that it can stand on its own two feet, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting with participants of the "Everything for Victory!’ forum.

"We must make our country self-sufficient, which is the key indicator of sovereignty," he said.

The president emphasized that Russia will turn into a decrepit and worthless country unless it defends its own people.

"If we did nothing, if we did not defend our people in Donbass, the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions, in Novorossiya, if we had abandoned the people of Crimea, what would our country have eventually evolved into? Into a decrepit country, which is not self-sufficient, which actually nobody needs, which everybody on the outside would have patronizingly patted on the head because of its natural riches, and would have given us rotten potatoes as humanitarian aid, simultaneously scheming how to snatch something and get away," he said.

"Right before my eyes over the past two decades, I have been watching what is going on: the speeches are sweet and good, but everybody plots to take a bite here or take a bite there and to establish such rules in the global economy so that all our competitive advantages are extinguished," Putin said.

The president pointed out that Russia had demonstrated to the entire world that it is a self-sufficient country.

"Look, they have an economy, and they will rise, as the fundamentals of the economy both in the United States and Europe are good, and therefore they will rise. However, they are currently down, as the main economies are in the red, while we are on the rise. The point is not even in the fact that it is like this today, but that we have proved to ourselves and to everyone that we are a self-sufficient country," he added.

Additionally, the president hailed Russia’s growth in a wide range of sectors, including in high-tech industries.

"We are becoming a self-sufficient country in the fields of the economy, finance, defense and security and in the social sphere. Now we are talking about housing, but we do everything. In terms of housing construction, we boast the highest indicator in the country’s history, as we have built more than 110 million square meters of housing. This is unheard of, but we have done it," Putin stressed.