“As you know, the modern world, especially the Western world, is highly monopolised and many Western countries – whether they want to hear this or not – have voluntarily given up a considerable part of their sovereignty. To some extent, this is a result of the politics of blocs. Sometimes we find it very difficult to come to terms with them on geopolitical issues. It is hard to reach an agreement with people who whisper even at home for fear of being overheard by the Americans. This is not a joke or a figure of speech.“
Even a country like Algeria, a former French colony run by a corrupt and retrograde military regime, has at least leaders concerned of their national interests to the point of refusing any participation in the Saudi-American coalition against Yemen, while Hollands’ France was ready to pounce gleefully on a new crusade in Syria, which could have triggered World War III. One may ask, to use an expression of Norman Finkelstein, why prostitutes have such a bad reputation… Welcome to Western mediocracy!
Vladimir Putin on the tappingof French Presidents:This scandal will be stifled (English subtitles)
Briefing session with permanent members of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, 25 June 2015
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues,
Mr Lavrov will tell us about the consultations in Paris. Let’s start with this. Please, Mr Lavrov.
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov: On the whole, it was not useless because even despite certain wrangling during the discussion, the main outcome was the acknowledgement of the fact that there is no alternative to complete fulfilment of the Minsk Agreements. First and foremost, the acknowledgement by our German and our French partners of the fact that the overwhelming part of the Minsk provisions should be implemented through direct dialogue between authorities in Kiev and Donetsk and Lugansk.
I can’t say that we have resolved all the problems because this should be done directly by the Contact group and the working subgroups created. I will report on that in more detail later, but on the day of our meeting, a report on the taps [by the United States of the French leadership] was published, and this gave rise to unrest in France so this was another thing that distracted our attention.
Vladimir Putin: How will this scandal end?
Sergei Lavrov: Frankly speaking, I think that Germany’s example [the US special services wiretapping the German leadership] gives the answer: I think that both sides will try to blanket the scandal and forget about it.
Vladimir Putin: That is what would happen.
Putin denounces the ‘submission’ of France: “Even without Mistral, we will survive“ (English subtitles)
Olga Ushakova: Let’s take another question from the audience – from Dmitry Shchugorev’s section this time.
Dmitry Shchugorev: We have Dmitry Abzalov here, the president of the Center for Strategic Communications. Please, go ahead.
Dmitry Abzalov: Good afternoon, Mr Putin. I have this nagging question about Mistral ships. This week, the second ship was tested and left for the French shipyard. What are the prospects? Will we push for having these ships delivered to us? Will we seek financing? In general, what will our military and economic partnership with the European Union and France, in particular, be like after what happened a year ago?
Vladimir Putin: The refusal to deliver ships under the existing contract is, of course, a bad sign. However, frankly speaking, it’s of little consequence for us or our defence capability. We signed these contracts primarily to support our partners and offer work to their shipyard. We planned to use the ships in the Far East. For us, this is not critical.
However, I believe that the leadership of France – and the French people in general – are honourable people and will return the money. We are not even going to demand any penalties or exorbitant fines, but we want all of our costs covered. This certainly means that the reliability of our partners – who, acting as part of the military-political bloc, in this case NATO, have lost some of their sovereignty – has suffered, and is now questionable. Of course, we will keep this in mind as we continue our military and technical cooperation.
Kirill Kleymenov: Our partners may find that it was an easy way for them to get off the hook.
Vladimir Putin: That’s all right, we’ll survive.
Speech by Vladimir Putin on the integration of the Crimea to Russia, March 18, 2014 – With a reflection on this intervention dated April 22, 2014
Today, I would like to address the people of the United States of America, the people who, since the foundation of their nation and adoption of the Declaration of Independence, have been proud to hold freedom above all else. Isn’t the desire of Crimea’s residents to freely choose their fate such a value? Please understand us.
I believe that the Europeans, first and foremost, the Germans, will also understand me. Let me remind you that in the course of political consultations on the unification of East and West Germany, at the expert, though very high level, some nations that were then and are now Germany’s allies did not support the idea of unification. Our nation, however, unequivocally supported the sincere, unstoppable desire of the Germans for national unity. I am confident that you have not forgotten this, and I expect that the citizens of Germany will also support the aspiration of the Russians, of historical Russia, to restore unity.
I also want to address the people of Ukraine. I sincerely want you to understand us: we do not want to harm you in any way, or to hurt your national feelings. We have always respected the territorial integrity of the Ukrainian state, incidentally, unlike those who sacrificed Ukraine’s unity for their political ambitions. They flaunt slogans about Ukraine’s greatness, but they are the ones who did everything to divide the nation. Today’s civil standoff is entirely on their conscience. I want you to hear me, my dear friends. Do not believe those who want you to fear Russia, shouting that other regions will follow Crimea. We do not want to divide Ukraine; we do not need that. As for Crimea, it was and remains a Russian, Ukrainian, and Crimean-Tatar land.
I repeat, just as it has been for centuries, it will be a home to all the peoples living there. What it will never be and do is follow in Bandera’s footsteps!
Kirill Kleymenov: But before giving the floor to [our correspondent in Germany], I’d like to ask you to return to the speech that we discussed at the very beginning, the one that you made before signing the treaty on Crimea and Sevastopol’s accession to Russia. Many people were very impressed by it and compared it to your Munich speech. They even called it your best speech.
I’d like to ask you why you made this speech. First, the protocol didn’t demand it and, second, the format was very unusual – you addressed peoples rather than countries or governments.
Vladimir Putin: The format was chosen based on the importance of the event and the situation. This is an unusual event in the life of our people, our country and our state. This is why I considered it my duty to address the Federal Assembly and the people of the Russian Federation in the presence of members of the State Duma and the Federation Council. This is the first point.
Second. Why was the speech addressed to the peoples of other countries rather than their governments? As you know, the modern world, especially the Western world, is highly monopolised and many Western countries – whether they want to hear this or not – have voluntarily given up a considerable part of their sovereignty. To some extent, this is a result of the politics of blocs. Sometimes we find it very difficult to come to terms with them on geopolitical issues. It is hard to reach an agreement with people who whisper even at home for fear of being overheard by the Americans. This is not a joke or a figure of speech. Listen to me, I’m serious, I’m not joking. However, they are our main partners on economic and some other issues.
But I addressed the peoples of these countries primarily because an ordinary person from Germany, France or Italy will instantly sense whether a statement is false or not. Our position is absolutely open, honest and transparent, and for this reason it is easier to get it across to ordinary people than even to some leaders. It seems to me we succeeded to some extent. No matter what government rules a country, it will have to consider the opinion of its voters. This is why I addressed the people.