Putin’s Remarks at the Valdai International Discussion Club
Established in 2004, Putin addressed the forum for the 15th time on Thursday. Other participants included 130 professionals from 33 countries, discussing Russia’s political and socioeconomic prospects as well as social and cultural development, along with its place in the modern world.
Calling terrorism a challenging issue to address, Putin said world community cooperation to combat it is far short of what’s needed.
Terrorism poses a great threat to Russia and other countries, he stressed, “which is why we launched these operations in Syria.”
He failed to explain US responsibility for its scourge, supporting ISIS and likeminded jihadists in the Middle East, Central Asia, North Africa and elsewhere – why the problem persists.
These groups can’t operate without foreign support, where their funding, training, direction and heavy weapons come from.
Most terrorists in Syria were eliminated, said Putin. Yet tens of thousands remain, additional jihadists entering the country regularly, deployed where Washington wants them used.
“(W)e have preserved Syrian statehood and in this sense helped stabilize the region,” said Putin, failing to explain that conflict resolution is unattainable as long as the US rejects it, war in its eighth year with no prospect for ending it any time soon.
Putin: (W)e have liberated almost 95 percent of the entire territory of the Syrian Republic.”
“We supported Syria’s statehood, prevented the state from collapsing. True, there are still many problems. Now we see what is happening on the left bank of the Euphrates.”
“This territory is under the patronage of our American partners (sic). They rely on the Kurdish armed forces.”
US-supported terrorists remain a significant problem, far from eliminated. Putin admitted that ISIS abducted around 130 families, almost 700 people, holding them as human shields.
Tens of thousands of Al-Nusra jihadists remain to be eliminated, mostly in Idlib province, the last major terrorist stronghold in the country.
They refused to disarm and leave the Russian/Turkish agreed on demilitarized zone, continuing attacks on Syrian forces and civilians, an “abscess” essential to eliminate, according to Sergey Lavrov.
Washington, NATO, Israel, and the Saudis are supporting these jihadists, directing them not to go along with demilitarization, why liberating Syria and other countries where they’re deployed can go on endlessly for years.
October 15 was the deadline for demilitarizing the Idlib buffer zone, the objective so far not accomplished, Putin admitting “everything is complicated.”
“(T)ensions in international affairs” have nothing to do with Russia, he said. “We are not creating any problems for anyone. (Yet) we are being (wrongfully) accused of things…But no one believes it is necessary to produce any evidence.”
Accusations suffice to point fingers repeatedly at Russia. “This is the result of the internal political struggle in the Western world…”
Dark forces in Washington “decided that playing the anti-Russia card would be a very convenient way to resolve domestic political problems. This is bad for everyone.”
Russia isn’t “afraid of anything. Given our territory, our defense system, and our people that are ready to fight for independence and sovereignty…This makes us certain that we can feel secure.”
“We live in a world where security relies on nuclear capability. Russia is one of the largest nuclear powers…(W)e are improving our attack systems as an answer to the United States building its missile defense system.”
Some are developed and in service, others coming ahead, more advanced than any in the West or elsewhere.
Numerous risks exists, including US-supported terrorism, its endless wars of aggression, environmental challenges, proliferation of WMDs, and willingness of some regimes to use them.
Russia will defend its sovereign independence when challenged, said Putin. Unlike America, NATO and Israel, it threatens no other nations. It’s the leading state-supporter of world peace, stability, multi-world polarity, and mutual cooperation among all nations.
US aims are polar opposite, seeking dominance over all other nations, war its favored strategy.
Unlike America, Russia won’t ever use nuclear weapons preemptively, said Putin, only in self-defense if used against the country.
“(T)his means that we are prepared and will use nuclear weapons only when we know for certain that some potential aggressor is attacking Russia, our territory,” he said, adding:
“I am not revealing a secret if I say that we have created a system which is being upgraded all the time as needed – a missile early warning radar system.”
“This system monitors the globe, warning about the launch of any strategic missile at sea and identifying the area from which it was launched.”
“(T)he system tracks the trajectory of a missile flight…It locates a nuclear warhead drop zone.”
“Only when we know for certain – and this takes a few seconds to understand – that Russia is being attacked, we will deliver a counter-strike. This would be a reciprocal counter-strike.”
If nuclear war occurs, it’ll be a global catastrophe, something Russia will never initiate preemptively.
“(A)ny aggressor should know that retaliation is inevitable and they will be annihilated. And we as the victims of an aggression, we as martyrs would go to paradise while they will simply perish because they won’t even have time to repent (for) their sins.”
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”