Putin calls for ‘dialogue on equal terms’ with the West
Russian President Vladimir Putin called on Wednesday for the West to talk to the rest of the world on "equal terms" and work together to solve pressing global issues.
Humanity basically now has two paths it can pursue, Putin stated. It can either be fractured and keep accumulating problems that will eventually bury it, or try to find “may be not ideal, but working” solutions to common issues.
The Russian leader said he believes in common sense and is convinced that sooner or later “new centers of power in the multipolar world and the West will have to start talking as equals about our common future.”
He was speaking at the Valdai Discussion Club meeting outside Moscow, in conversation with Russian foreign policy expert Fyodor Lyukyanov.
The West and its allies are playing a “dirty game,” the prize for which is global dominance, Putin explained. However, the US and its allies are not safe from the consequences of their own actions, he added.
“Power over the world is what the West has put at stake in the game it plays. This game is certainly dangerous, bloody and I would call it dirty.”
He offered his view that Western nations deny others on the global scene the right to any kind of independence, be it political, economical or cultural. Last December, Russia’s proposals to address its concerns about national security were “tossed aside” by Washington, he noted.
“But in the modern world, sitting aside is hardly an option. He who sows the wind will reap the whirlwind, as the proverb says,” he added, pointing out that the ongoing global crisis affects everyone and all aspects of life.
The president noted that while the disruption of the ecological balance threatens biodiversity, diversity of political thought, social norms, and culture is as important as genetic diversity. Western nations, which want to impose their values and vision as universal, are robbing everyone, including themselves,
Putin reasoned. “First of all, this eradicates the creative potential of the West itself,” he warned. “There is a mercantile interest here too” the Russian leader added, explaining that a homogenous society makes selling things simpler.
Our adversaries, as I would call them, are trying to expand markets for their products. It’s ultimately as primitive as that.
He cited the famous 1978 ‘Harvard Speech’ by the Soviet-era dissident writer and philosopher Alexander Solzhenitsyn, who said that the West was suffering from “a blindness of superiority.” Solzhenitsyn believed that liberal democracies considered their system to be superior and believed that all nations strived to become like them, fighting against the will of “evil rulers”, natural hardships or lack of education.
Putin described the phenomenon that Solzhenitsyn referred to as “racist and neocolonial” in nature. It has assumed “ugly forms” since the period of unipolar domination of the US in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union, he added.
He warned that anyone who perceives themselves as “flawless” would be tempted to utterly destroy everyone else, to “cancel them.” Even at the peak of the Cold War, neither the Soviet bloc nor the West had such a dismissive attitude toward its adversaries, Putin said.
The Valdai Discussion Club is an annual international event in Russia conceived as a platform for floating ideas that the host nation considers important to discuss with other global players. The forum was created in 2004.
This year’s meeting comes amid unprecedented tensions between the West and Russia over the crisis in Ukraine. Russia sent troops into the neighboring nation after last year NATO refused to rule out Ukraine's eventual accession to the bloc, which Moscow called an unacceptable threat to its national security.
The US and its allies declared the military action an act of unprovoked aggression and pledged to pursue Russia's strategic defeat. They have been arming and funding the Ukrainian government and imposing sanctions against Russia, which has exacerbated the global economic turmoil that arose due to the Covid-19 pandemic.