Meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club – Sochi
Vladimir Putin took part in the final plenary meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club’s XI session. The meeting’s theme is The World Order: New Rules or a Game without Rules.
[…] VLADIMIR PUTIN (commenting on statements by former Prime Minister of France Dominique de Villepin and former Federal Chancellor of Austria Wolfgang Schuessel): I would like to begin by saying that overall I agree with what both Wolfgang and Dominique have said. I fully support everything they said. However, there are a few things I would like to clarify.
I believe Dominique referred to the Ukrainian crisis as the reason for the deterioration in international relations. Naturally, this crisis is a cause, but this is not the principal cause. The crisis in Ukraine is itself a result of a misbalance in international relations.
I have already said in my address why this is happening, and my colleagues have already mentioned it. I can add to this, if necessary. However, primarily this is the outcome of the misbalance in international relations.
As for the issues mentioned by Wolfgang, we will get back to them: we will talk about the elections, if necessary, and about the supply of energy resources to Ukraine and Europe.
However, I would like to respond to the phrase “Wolfgang is an optimist, while life is harder for pessimists.” I already mentioned the old joke we have about a pessimist and an optimist, but I cannot help telling it again. We have this very old joke about a pessimist and an optimist: a pessimist drinks his cognac and says, “It smells of bedbugs,” while an optimist catches a bedbug, crushes it, then sniffs it and says, “A slight whiff of cognac.”
I would rather be the pessimist who drinks cognac than the optimist who sniffs bedbugs. (Laughter)
Though it does seem that optimists have a better time, our common goal is to live a decent life (without overindulging in alcohol). For this purpose, we need to avoid crises, together handle all challenges and threats and build such relations on the global arena that would help us reach these goals. […]