Putin at St. Petersburg International Economic Forum
by Stephen Lendman
Called Russia’s Davos, this year’s SPIEF (its 20th annual forum) is one of its “most extensive,” according to Tass, featuring three days of over 100 events – from June 16 – 18.
Attending are representatives of 600 Russian and 500 foreign companies from 60 countries, including America and EU ones – to the displeasure of Washington, wanting Russia increasingly isolated, marginalized, weakened, and transformed into a US vassal state.
Addressing SPIEF’s plenary session, Putin’s remarks were wide-ranging, discussing “systemic problems…besetting the global economy and practically all countries,” as well as expressing an eagerness to restore normalized relations with EU countries, disrupted by hostile US policy.
“We do not hold a grudge, and are ready to meet our European partners halfway. But it certainly cannot be a one-way game,” he stressed.
“Our recent meetings with representatives of the German and French business circles have proved that the European business is willing and is ready to cooperate with our country,” he added.
“Politicians need to meet the business people halfway, and show wisdom, foresight and flexibility. We need to regain trust in Russian-European relations and to restore the level of interaction.”
Throughout his tenure as Russian president, Putin stressed resolving conflicts diplomatically, multi-world polarity and mutual cooperation among all nations – far different from Washington’s imperial agenda, permanent wars its core policy, along with bullying other nations to comply with its will.
Putin noted US pressure on EU countries to maintain sanctions on Russia, gaining nothing, harming their own economies, angering their business communities wanting them lifted.
“Why tolerate (them),” he asked? “I don’t understand.” America isn’t suffering economically like EU countries.
While expressing a willingness to work cooperatively with Washington, he stressed how its unilateral hostility and belligerence cause chaos.
“If the policy of unilateral actions goes on, if steps in the international scene, very sensitive for the international community, are not coordinated, such (negative) consequences will be inevitable,” he explained.
“If we turn an attentive ear to each other, if we look for a balance of interest, this will not happen. If there is such cooperation, nobody will ever talk about any Cold War…I am certain that nobody wishes that.”
After Soviet Russia dissolved in 1991, his hoped for “universal prosperity and trust” never materialized.
He knows it’s unattainable as long as bipartisan neocons infest Washington – wanting adversarial, not cooperative relations.
A Final Comment
Politicizing sports is longstanding, especially high-profile international events getting worldwide coverage.
On Friday, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) took perhaps an unprecedented step in upholding an earlier ban on Russian track and field athletes, based on alleged doping violations – barring them all from this summer’s August 5 – 21 Rio Olympic Games (Rio 2016).
Collectively punishing a nation’s athletes for the misdeeds of a few team members smacks of deplorably politicizing sports, delegitimizing them, relegating them to competition among chosen nations, excluding others for unacceptable reasons.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
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