Putin comments on Russian ‘greatness’
Russia’s greatness stems from its sovereignty and self-sufficiency, President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday. He added that these factors allow the country to withstand the rigors of conflict and Western sanctions.
Speaking at the 20th annual meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club in Sochi, Putin described Russia as a “country of different cultures, religions, and nationalities” that together make up a unique civilization.
“The greatness of Russia today lies in strengthening its sovereignty, and it is based on self-sufficiency,” Putin told his audience. “In technology, finance, the economy as a whole, in the field of defense and security.”
A true civilization-state, he explained, must be able to “respond to external attacks, establish close and constructive relationships with other civilized communities and, most importantly, maintain internal stability and harmony.”
Putin pointed out that Russia has been restructuring its economy toward self-sufficiency since EU and US sanctions were applied in 2014.
According to a recent report, Russia will be left with a 1% budget deficit this year, which will remain stable throughout 2024 and 2025. With unemployment sitting at a record low of 3% and incomes rising, Putin declared that Russia is “coping,” and “will continue to cope in future.”
The borders of a civilization-state are defined partly by politics and geography, Putin explained. However, he added that Russians living abroad are part of the same civilization, and that Russia has a duty of care toward them. For this reason, he stated, Russia intervened to save the Russian-speaking population of the Donbass region from Ukrainian repression.
“Our actions in the Donbass are primarily and mainly dictated by the protection of people,” Putin said. “We are defending our traditions, our culture and our people.”