Putin on SPIEF stage: Russia will not fight everyone

Mohamed Samir
5 Min Read
Russian President Vladimir Putin addressing the plenary session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF)

Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia does not intend to fight against everyone, addressing the plenary session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF).

Putin referenced a historical anecdote involving Joseph Stalin to illustrate his point about the challenges of negotiating with partners who violate agreements. “As Joseph Vissarionovich [Stalin] once said, I don’t have any other writers. He said this about Soviet writers when Beria [Stalin’s secret police chief] snitched on them again. Well, we have such partners, so, what can we do about that? Are we supposed to fight with them? But we should seek such agreements and such terms that would be in our interests and maximally reliable,” he said.

Putin reiterated that Russia has not refused to engage in talks, unlike Ukraine, but emphasised the importance of discerning whom and to what extent Moscow can trust after being repeatedly deceived.

 

Any peace agreement should be based on the 2022 Istanbul Accords but must also consider current realities, Putin stressed at SPIEF. Moscow has maintained that it will only engage in negotiations on its terms and will reject any attempts to impose external rules.

Putin also questioned the legitimacy of Ukraine’s executive authorities, citing specific legal provisions from the Ukrainian Constitution. “The question of the legitimacy of those with whom we are negotiating [on settling the conflict over Ukraine]. There is a problem here, of course, because the current authorities [of Ukraine], judging by all signs – even a quick analysis of Ukrainian legislation shows – have lost their legitimacy,” Putin said. He pointed out that the Ukrainian Constitution specifies a presidential term of five years and allows the Verkhovna Rada to extend its powers under martial law but does not extend the president’s powers.

On the United States, Putin claimed that the foundation of its economy is weakening, with government debt and inflation posing significant problems.

“The American economy is shrinking, and its basis is heard make cracking sounds from time to time. I mean not only the debt, which is sky-high but also the fact that they don’t always manage to meet the inflation targets set for themselves. They have inflation targets of 2%, but they’ve been hitting 7.8%, as happened recently during the pandemic. This undermines confidence in the US economy. What is it backed by at a time when it is also shrinking? Nothing, and this is a problem. It is an unequivocal problem for all holders of the dollar assets,” Putin said.

He further noted the diminishing global share of the US economy.

“This is an absolutely natural movement towards multipolarity in the world economy, and in world finance. We can, of course, come up with all sorts of systems, but the value of this or that currency depends on the value of the economy it regulates. What are we doing now? We and our BRICS partners are pushing ahead with this joint work. Russia’s role here, of course, can be noticeable,” Putin added at the SPIEF plenary session.

Highlighting Russia’s future economic prospects, Putin spoke about the significance of the Arctic region, which holds substantial untapped mineral resources. “Western Siberia has been traditionally developed since Soviet times – I mean those mineral resources which the whole country still uses,” he said, noting the shift of economic development further eastwards and northwards.

“Whereas before it was said that Russia would be growing with Siberia, now we can say that Russia will be growing with the Arctic because we have the main mineral resources there. They are still difficult and expensive to tap, but nevertheless, this is a very big prospect. In fact, this is precisely what we have been doing,” he added at SPIEF plenary session.

Putin mentioned that the development focus had started with the Far East, a region with significant challenges in terms of territory preservation and depopulation.

SPIEF is being held from June 5 to 8, themed “The Formation of New Areas of Growth as the Cornerstone of a Multipolar World.” The SPIEF includes meetings for small and medium-sized businesses, creative industries, and the SPIEF Youth Day, among others. It is organised by the Roscongress Foundation.

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Mohamed Samir Khedr is an economic and political journalist, analyst, and editor specializing in geopolitical conflicts in the Middle East, Africa, and the Eastern Mediterranean. For the past decade, he has covered Egypt's and the MENA region's financial, business, and geopolitical updates. Currently, he is the Executive Editor of the Daily News Egypt, where he leads a team of journalists in producing high-quality, in-depth reporting and analysis on the region's most pressing issues. His work has been featured in leading international publications. Samir is a highly respected expert on the Middle East and Africa, and his insights are regularly sought by policymakers, academics, and business leaders. He is a passionate advocate for independent journalism and a strong believer in the power of storytelling to inform and inspire. Twitter: https://twitter.com/Moh_S_Khedr LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mohamed-samir-khedr/
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