President Vladimir Putin declared the end of “neo-colonialism” in global politics and commended Russia’s economic strategy after strained relations with the West.
Speaking at an annual economic forum in Saint Petersburg, which has seen diminished participation since Russia’s intervention in Ukraine in February 2022 and subsequent severe sanctions imposed by the West, Putin emphasized the strengthening of a multi-polar global order while asserting that the unattractive system of neo-colonial international relations had ceased to exist.
“This outcome was inevitable,” Putin stated.
Putin has consistently criticized the United States’ dominance in international affairs and sought to portray Moscow’s actions in Ukraine as a struggle against a morally decaying West. He accused Western nations of rejecting dialogue with Russia and insinuated that the West might seek discussions in the future.
“We will assess when and what topics we can engage in dialogue with them,” Putin expressed.
Regarding Russia’s economy, Putin acknowledged that the second quarter of the previous year had been exceptionally challenging due to unprecedented sanctions from the West.
“Today, we can confidently affirm that the strategies adopted by both the state and Russian businesses during that time were effective,” he added.
Putin further claimed that approximately half of the Russians who had left the country following the onset of the Ukraine conflict had already returned.
“While this process continues, those who wish to live elsewhere are free to do so,” Putin commented.
He mentioned that many Russians had chosen to reside in countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan.
“I see no issue with this; people should live where they feel most comfortable,” Putin asserted.
The Kremlin stated that the theme of this year’s forum was “Sovereign Development as the Foundation of a Just World.” Agence France-Presse (AFP) and representatives from other countries deemed “unfriendly” by the Kremlin were not accredited to cover the forum.
Sources: Agence France-Presse/ SGP