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Civilizational code and nuclear doctrine: what Putin said at Valdai Club meeting

Russia remains committed to gas contracts with Europe and continues to transit gas through Ukraine, while Kiev "is happy" to be paid for it, the president underlined
Russia's President Vladimir Putin addresses a plenary session at the 20th annual meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club Vladimir Smirnov/TASS
Russia's President Vladimir Putin addresses a plenary session at the 20th annual meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club
© Vladimir Smirnov/TASS

SOCHI, October 6. /TASS/. Russia is working to rebuild its economy, while continuing its special operation in Ukraine and defending its traditions, culture and people, President Vladimir Putin said in response to questions from Fyodor Lukyanov, the moderator of a Valdai Discussion Club plenary session, and participants in the meeting. TASS has collected the key remarks that Putin made.

On Russian economy

"So far, we have been handling it well and I have reasons to believe that we will continue like that in the future." "A natural reconstruction of the economy began" the way it had happened in the wake of the 2014 food embargo.

Unlike in Europe, the Russian people’s real disposable income is growing despite an increase in defense and security spendings. Russia is leaving "the fading European market," increasing "its presence on the growing markets in other parts of the world, including Asia."

On Nord Streams and gas supplies

The US was the party that was most interested in blowing up the Nord Stream gas pipelines, "and it does not matter through whose hands" it was achieved. However, those responsible will be found.

Germany still can receive gas via the remaining pipeline branch but Washington is unwilling to let it happen. The Anglo-Saxons are also threatening the TurkStream gas pipeline by supporting Ukraine’s plans to damage it.

Russia remains committed to gas contracts with Europe and continues to transit gas through Ukraine, while Kiev "is happy" to be paid for it.

On nuclear doctrine

There is no need to change the national nuclear doctrine as Russia's retaliatory strike following a nuclear attack by a potential aggressor will leave the enemy with no chances of survival. "No one in their right mind and clear memory would think of using nuclear weapons against Russia."

Russia has been successful in terms of nuclear deterrence as it has in fact completed work on the Sarmat missile and will soon launch its mass production and put it on combat duty along with the Burevestnik missile.

There is no need to carry out nuclear tests but in theory, Russia could take a tit-for-tat approach as the US failed to ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty. "However, it is up to members of the State Duma (the lower house of parliament - TASS) to decide."

On Nagorno-Karabakh

Russia suggested ways to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh issue before tensions flared up again in the region. "However, our Karabakh friends kept telling us: <...> ‘We will fight’."

After Yerevan recognized the region’s status, "Karabakh officially joined Azerbaijan; that was the position of the current Armenian government." It immediately changed the status of Russian peacekeepers because Baku emerged as the only party to discuss their presence with. However, they did everything possible "to address humanitarian problems," while they only had the right to monitor a ceasefire. "As you know, our peacekeepers were killed there, protecting Karabakh Armenians."

However, there are "no Armenians there; everyone has left." "Perhaps, about 1,000 to 1,500 people remain there." Russia is ready to help the refugees and "Armenia remains our ally."

On special operation in Ukraine

"We are protecting our traditions, our culture and our people." "We are steadily moving towards achieving our goals."

When asked where Russia should stop its special operation in Ukraine, Putin said that "it’s not about territories, it’s about security guarantees for the Russian people" and "the people who consider Russia to be their Motherland."

Russia has significantly increased the production of military equipment. Almost 350,000 contracted soldiers joined the army in the past year.

"Russian forces feel confident;" yesterday, they advanced "in 12 areas along the entire line of contact."

On Odessa

"Odessa is certainly a Russian city, and a little bit Jewish, this is what we say now: just a bit."

On prospects for Western support for Ukraine

The US is currency facing a technical "delay in supporting Ukraine" but Washington "will find" more money. The Americans will print money the way they did during the coronavirus pandemic. "While we can see the US economy growing," Europe’s real production sector "is in a very tough situation." "The burden on the population is growing" because of assistance to Ukraine.

However, Ukraine won’t last without foreign help. It will "come to a halt" unless it keeps receiving $4-5 bln every month, and without Western weapons supplies, Kiev "will last only a week."

Russia has always opposed Ukraine’s accession to NATO but never objected to the country’s EU membership. However, Ukraine’s economy is dysfunctional and its population has declined from 41 mln to 19.5 mln. If Brussels is ready to deal with it, "then be my guest."

On rehabilitation of Nazism

"Ensuring the denazification" of Ukraine is a common goal for the entire world and what happened in Canada’s parliament proves that it’s relevant.

The former Canadian parliament speaker put "Hitler’s collaborators, SS troops and Ukraine’s current armed forces on par," while Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, who is Jewish, applauded a Nazi veteran.

On global finances

The global financial system "is not perfect or balanced or in line with the interests of the global majority." In particular, African nations are burdened by loans worth more than one trillion dollars. "It will never be paid." Russia, however, has significantly reduced its debts.

There is no need for BRICS to create a single currency, judging by the euro experience. The group needs a common system of payments based on national currencies.

On new Iron Curtain

Russia and Europe share the same "civilizational code" based on Christianity. However, Europe is creating "a new Iron Curtain," while Russia is keeping the door open.

Europe was forced to stop trading with Russia and followed the US, even though its well-being was based on cheap energy supplies from Russia and access to the Chinese market. As a result, "many Europeans are now saying that Europe has lost its sovereignty."

It’s unclear why some in the West have made Serbia their "target." However, the Serbs are not the ones to be broken.

On friends abroad

"I have friends there [in Germany], and strange as it may seem, their number is growing." Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder is one of them. "Germany should be proud of such people."

Russia has many "true friends" in France, too, and their number is increasing.

The Russian president refrained from attending G20 and BRICS events "in order not to create problems for my friends." Besides, "there is a lot to do at home."

On Wagner Group

The Wagner Group has never legally been "a private military company;" this is what journalists called it. The authorities have not decided yet if Russia needs private military companies but if they are created, it will be done based on the law.

The head of the Investigative Committee has recently presented a report on an investigation into a plane crash that killed top Wagner commanders. "Fragments of hand grenades were found in their bodies;" "the aircraft was not subjected to external impact.".