President Vladimir Putin’s New Year address to Russia

From Kremlin.ru
December 31, 2016

New Year Address to the Nation.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Citizens of Russia, friends,

The year 2016 is coming to a close. It was a challenging year, but the difficulties we faced have brought us together and allowed us to reveal enormous resources for our movement forward.

The main thing is that we believe in ourselves, in our strengths and in our country. We are working, and working successfully, and we are achieving much. I would like to thank you for the victories and achievements, for your understanding and trust, and for your true, sincere care for Russia.

We have a vast, unique and wonderful country! We are united by common concerns and common joys, by our long-standing good tradition of meeting the New Year with our families and with hope for the best.

But not everyone is at the holiday table today. Many of our citizens are away from home, ensuring Russia’s security, working at enterprises, on duty in hospitals, ad operating trains and aircraft. I would like to convey my very best wishes for the New Year to all those who are now fulfilling their labour and military duties.

Dear friends,

We are excitedly awaiting the sound of the chimes of the Moscow Kremlin, and we feel the march of time and the approaching future more clearly than ever before. We experience this only during these moments, during this wonderful and beloved holiday.

Meanwhile, New Year has its own secrets. For instance, each of us may become something of a magician on the night of the New Year. To do this we simply need to treat our parents with love and gratitude, take care of our children and families, respect our colleagues at work, nurture our friendships, defend truth and justice, be merciful and help those who are in need of support. This is the whole secret.

May our dreams, heavenly thoughts and good intentions come true. May joy and love reign in every home. May our beloved streets, cities and villages become even more beautiful.

Peace and prosperity to our common, great homeland, Russia. Happiness, health and wellbeing to each of you.

Happy New Year 2017!

http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/53683

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President Putin’s speech to the Federal Assembly, December 1, 2016

From Kremlin.ru

Vladimir Putin delivered the Annual Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly. The Address was traditionally delivered at the Kremlin’s St George Hall.

Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon colleagues, members of the Federation Council, State Duma deputies, citizens of Russia,

Today, as usual in these annual addresses, I will speak about our tasks in the economy, the social sector, domestic and foreign policy. This year’s address will focus particularly on the economy, social issues, and domestic policy.

We have to address all of these different matters in complicated and highly unusual conditions, which is not a unique event in our history. The people of Russia have shown convincingly once again that they can rise to the difficult challenges and protect and defend their national interests, sovereignty, and independent course.

Colleagues, I have already said publicly on other occasions what I want to say today, but let me say it again now.

Our people have united around patriotic values. We see this unity and we should thank them for it. They have united around these values not because everyone is happy and they have no demands, on the contrary, there is no shortage of problems and difficulties. But people have an understanding of their causes and, most importantly, are confident that together we can overcome these problems. It is this readiness to work for our country’s sake and this sincere and deep-seated concern for Russia that form the foundation of this unity we see.

People expect at the same time to have broad and equal opportunities for self-realisation and for making reality their business, creative, and civil initiatives. They expect respect for their person, their rights, freedoms, and labour.

The principles of justice, respect, and trust are universal. We are consistent in defending these principles on the international stage, and, as we see, not without result. But we must put the same effort into guaranteeing these principles here at home, with regard to every individual and to society as a whole.

People take any injustice and untruth very much to heart. This is a distinguishing feature of our culture in general. Our society resolutely rejects arrogance, conceit, insolence and selfishness, no matter in who they see it. Our people place greater value on qualities such as responsibility, high moral standards, concern for public interests, and readiness to listen to others and respect their opinion.

This was reflected in the election campaign that took place this year. As you know, I supported in my 2012 Address the idea of returning to a mixed model for elections to the State Duma. This was a principled step towards meeting public opinion’s demands.

I think that our course of developing the political system, the institutions of direct democracy, and of making elections more competitive is completely justified, and will certainly continue.

The State Duma has bolstered its role as a representative body and the legislative branch of power’s authority has strengthened in general. We must support and confirm this with concrete action. This concerns all political forces represented in the parliament.

United Russia, of course, bears particular responsibility here. Incidentally, the party is celebrating its 15th anniversary at this time. United Russia has a constitutional majority in the State Duma and is the Government’s main support in the parliament. We must organise work together in such a way as to ensure that all promises and commitments made to our people are honoured.

Our people decided the election campaign’s result and chose the road of constructive development. They proved that we live in a healthy society that is confident in its fair and just demands, has ever stronger immunity against populism and demagogy, and values highly the importance of solidarity, closeness and unity.

I am not talking, of course, about any kind of dogmas or a false unity put on for show, and I am certainly not talking about imposing a particular world view. We have already gone through all of this in our history, as you know, and we have no intention of returning to the past.

But this does not mean that we can juggle eloquent words and use talk of freedom as a cover for insulting others’ feelings and national traditions.

The basis of our entire policy is to take care of people and increase human capital as Russia’s most important resource. Therefore, our efforts are aimed at supporting the traditional values and the family, at implementing demographic programmes, improving the environment and people’s health, and promoting education and culture.

Someone might consider themselves more progressive, intelligent and cleverer than someone else, but if this is the case, be respectful towards others, and this would be the natural thing to do.

At the same time, I think it is unacceptable to take an aggressive attitude in return, all the more so if it degenerates into vandalism and breaking the law. The state authorities will respond with firmness to such cases.

Tomorrow, the Council for Culture will meet, and we will certainly discuss these issues that provoke broad discussion, and will talk about the principles of mutual responsibility of civil society representatives and arts world figures.

But let me emphasise that whether in culture, politics, the mass media, public life, or in debates on economic issues, no one can ban freedom of thought and the freedom to openly express one’s position.

Let me say again that when we speak of solidarity and unity, what we mean is conscious and natural consolidation of our people in the interests of Russia’s successful development.

Is it possible to achieve major strategic goals in a fragmented society? Is it possible to resolve our tasks with a parliament that instead of productive work spends its time on competing ambitions and fruitless argument?

Can we develop successfully on the shaky foundation of a weak state and apathetic government controlled from abroad and that no longer has the people’s trust? The answer is clearly no.

In recent years, we have seen a number of countries where this kind of situation has opened the road to adventurists, coups, and ultimately, anarchy. Everywhere, the result is the same: human tragedies and victims, degradation and ruin, and disappointment.

It is worrying to see that around the world, even in the seemingly most prosperous countries and stable regions, we witness the emergence of an ever greater number of new divisions and conflicts on political, ethnic, religious and social lines.

Unlike some of our colleagues abroad, who consider Russia an adversary, we do not seek and never have sought enemies. We need friends. But we will not allow our interests to be infringed upon or ignored.

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President Vladimir Putin’s New Year address to Russia

From the Kremlin.ru
December 31, 2015

New Year Address to the Nation.

New Year Address to the Nation.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Citizens of Russia, friends,

In a few moments, we will see in the New Year of 2016. The sensation of this wonderful moment between the past and the future is familiar since childhood. We look forward to it with joy, hope and excitement, believing in the best.

Traditionally, we celebrate it with our families, with all our near and dear ones. Of course, not all manage to see the New Year in with their families.

People have to work at hospitals and production facilities, perform their service and combat duty, defend our borders, and be on regular duty ensuring our security on land, at sea and in the sky.

We are grateful to all those who are always on their post, day and night, weekdays and holidays. Today, I would like to extend special greetings to those of our service members who are fighting international terrorism, defending Russia’s national interests at distant frontiers, showing their willpower, determination and staunchness. Though, these are the qualities we need all the time, whatever we are doing.

The success of the entire nation depends on the efficient labour and achievements of each one of us. We are united by the same goals, by our common desire to benefit our Motherland and by our sense of responsibility for its future.

In the outgoing year of 2015, we marked the 70th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War. Our history, the experience of our parents and grandparents, their unity in times of trouble and their willpower shall always serve as an example for us. They have helped and will help us to meet all current challenges with dignity.

Friends,

On this New Year’s night, we feel especially strongly just how much our near and dear ones mean to us. It is so important for all to be healthy and everything to be fine. For our parents to be surrounded by love and care, so that all the good things they have ever taught us come back to them.

Let our children grow smart and active, while love and responsiveness, kind-heartedness and compassion support us in our everyday chores.

There are a few seconds left before the New Year. Let us wish each other success and happiness.

Let us thank each other for understanding and support, for sympathy and responsiveness we give each other.

And let us raise a toast to the prosperity and wellbeing of Russia!

Happy New year to you! Happy 2016!

http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/51128

President Putin’s annual address to the Russian Federal Assembly, December 3, 2015

From the Kremlin

Vladimir Putin delivered the Annual Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly. The Address was traditionally delivered at the Kremlin’s St George Hall before an audience of more than 1,000 people.

Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly.
 Those present for the Address included members of the Federation Council, State Duma deputies, members of the Government, heads of the Constitutional and Supreme Courts, regional governors, heads of regional legislative assemblies, heads of Russia’s traditional religious faiths, public figures, including heads of regional civis chambers, and the heads of Russia’s biggest media outlets.

* * *

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Citizens of Russia, members of the Federation Council, State Duma deputies,

I would like to begin my Address with words of gratitude to the Russian servicemen who are fighting international terrorism.

Today here in the St George’s Hall, a historic hall of Russian military glory, we have combat pilots and representatives of the Armed Forces who are taking part in the anti-terrorist operation in Syria.

Gelena Peshkova and Irina Pozynich, who lost their husbands in the war against terror, have joined us too. My deepest respect to you and the parents of our heroes.

I would like us all to honour the memory of the soldiers who gave their lives while doing their duty, and the memory of all Russian citizens who fell at the hands of terrorists.

(Moment of silence)

Colleagues,

Russia has long been at the forefront of the fight against terrorism. This is a fight for freedom, truth and justice, for the lives of people and the future of the entire civilisation.

We know what aggression of international terrorism is. Russia faced it back in the mid-1990s, when our country, our civilian population suffered from cruel attacks. We will never forget the hostage crises in Budennovsk, Beslan and Moscow, the merciless explosions in residential buildings, the Nevsky Express train derailment, the blasts in the Moscow metro and Domodedovo Airport.

These tragedies took thousands of lives. We still grieve for them and will always grieve, along with the victims’ loved ones.

Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly.

It took us nearly a decade to finally break the backbone of those militants. We almost succeeded in expelling terrorists from Russia, but are still fighting the remaining terrorist underground. This evil is still out there. Two years ago, two attacks were committed in Volgograd. A civilian Russian plane was recently blown up over Sinai.

International terrorism will never be defeated by just one country, especially in a situation when the borders are practically open, and the world is going through another resettlement of peoples, while terrorists are getting regular financial support.

Terrorism is a growing threat today. The Afghanistan problem has not been resolved. The situation there is alarming and gives us no optimism, while some of the yet recently stable and rather well-doing countries in the Middle East and North Africa – Iraq, Libya and Syria – have now plunged into chaos and anarchy that pose a threat to the whole world.

We all know why that happened. We know who decided to oust the unwanted regimes and brutally impose their own rules. Where has this led them? They stirred up trouble, destroyed the countries’ statehood, set people against each other, and then “washed their hands”, as we say in Russia, thus opening the way to radical activists, extremists and terrorists.

The militants in Syria pose a particularly high threat for Russia. Many of them are citizens of Russia and the CIS countries. They get money and weapons and build up their strength. If they get sufficiently strong to win there, they will return to their home countries to sow fear and hatred, to blow up, kill and torture people. We must fight and eliminate them there, away from home.

This is why it has been decided to launch a military operation there based on an official request from the legitimate Syrian authorities. Our military personnel are fighting in Syria for Russia, for the security of Russian citizens.

The Russian Army and Navy have convincingly demonstrated their combat readiness and their increased capabilities. Modern Russian weapons have proved to be effective, and the invaluable practice of using them in combat conditions is being analysed and will be used to further improve our weapons and military equipment. We are grateful to our engineers, workers and all other personnel of our defence companies.

Russia has demonstrated immense responsibility and leadership in the fight against terrorism. Russian people have supported these resolute actions. The firm stance taken by our people stems from a thorough understanding of the absolute danger of terrorism, from patriotism, high moral qualities and their firm belief that we must defend our national interests, history, traditions and values.

The international community should have learned from the past lessons. The historical parallels in this case are undeniable.

Unwillingness to join forces against Nazism in the 20th century cost us millions of lives in the bloodiest world war in human history.

Today we have again come face to face with a destructive and barbarous ideology, and we must not allow these modern-day dark forces to attain their goals.

We must stop our debates and forget our differences to build a common anti-terrorist front that will act in line with international law and under the UN aegis.

Every civilised country must contribute to the fight against terrorism, reaffirming their solidarity, not in word but in deed.

This means that the terrorists must not be given refuge anywhere. There must be no double standards. No contacts with terrorist organisations. No attempts to use them for self-seeking goals. No criminal business with terrorists.

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Transcript: President Putin’s statement on Russian jet fighter shot down by Turkey. Meeting with King Abdullah II of Jordan

From the Kremlin
November 24, 2015

[Video on website]

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Your Majesty, it gives me great pleasure to welcome you to Russia.

We maintain constant contacts with you. Today, when there is such a serious struggle against international terrorism, it is obvious that we must join our efforts. I am happy to state that our military and official services are working in this direction.

Apart from that, we have other matters to discuss – I am referring to our bilateral relations.

of Jordan: My dear brother, I thank you very much for seeing me today, on a day when you have many weighty issues on your shoulders.

I would like to offer my condolences and those of the Jordanian people for that tragic terrorist heinous attack on the innocent Russians that lost their lives through the Metrojet terrorist attack, as well as the loss of your pilot today. I believe that this compels the international community to work stronger together both militarily and diplomatically in the context of Vienna, which is something that you have been a strong sponsor of.

You know, Mr President, I have said for many years that the only way of finding a political solution in Syria is with the strong role that both you and Russia play for a political solution for the Syrian people.

Your fight against Daesh is a fight that all of us have to do together not only in Syria and Iraq but also both you and I have said that this a global war, a war that binds all of us together.

Daesh, Al Qaeda and their offshoots want this to be a fight against humanity. And you and I have both hoped for many years about the holistic nature of this challenge — how we have to combine international efforts not only in our region but to fight this in Africa, in Asia, in Europe as well as our region.

So these are not only the challenges we face in Syria and Iraq, but also we have seen terrorism in Saudi Arabia, in Beirut, and unfortunately recently in Paris as well as Mali.

I know that this is a fight that both you and I, our countries and many others in the world are determined to win. Again, this is an opportunity for all of us in the international community to come together and fight this fight as part of a coordinated international body. I again commend the very strong relationship between our two countries and between you and myself.

I have known you for many years and our relationship has always been a strong one, and I know that it will continue to move from strength to strength.

I thank you for the valuable time that you have given me today on a very difficult day for you and for your people.

Vladimir Putin: Thank you very much, Your Majesty.

Thank you for your condolences, including your words in connection with today’s crash of our fighter aircraft. This event goes beyond regular efforts to combat terrorism.

Our servicemen are engaged in a heroic fight against terrorism, not sparing themselves or their own lives. However, today’s loss is a result of a stab in the back delivered by terrorists’ accomplices. There is no other way I can qualify what happened today.

Our aircraft was shot down over Syrian territory by an air-to-air missile launched from a Turkish F-16 plane. It fell on Syrian territory, four kilometres from the Turkish border. When it was attacked in the air, it was flying at an altitude of 6,000 metres, one kilometre away from the Turkish territory. In any case, our plane and our pilots were in no way a threat to the Turkish Republic in any way. This is obvious.

They were conducting an operation to fight ISIS in northern Latakia – a mountainous area where militants, mainly those coming from the Russian Federation, are concentrated. In this sense, they were doing their direct duty delivering preventive blows at terrorists who could return to Russia at any moment. Those people should certainly be classified as international terrorists.

We have long been recording the movement of a large amount of oil and petroleum products to Turkey from ISIS-occupied territories. This explains the significant funding the terrorists are receiving. Now they are stabbing us in the back by hitting our planes that are fighting terrorism. This is happening despite the agreement we have signed with our American partners to prevent air incidents, and, as you know, Turkey is among those who are supposed to be fighting terrorism within the American coalition.

If ISIS is making so much money – we are talking about tens or maybe even hundreds of millions, possibly billions of dollars – in oil trade and they are supported by the armed forces of an entire state, it is clear why they are being so daring and impudent, why they are killing people in such gruesome ways, why they are committing terrorist attacks all over the world, including in the heart of Europe.

We will of course carefully analyse what has happened and today’s tragic event will have significant consequences for Russian-Turkish relations.

We have always treated Turkey not merely as a close neighbour, but as a friendly state. I do not know who benefits from what has happened today. We certainly do not. Moreover, instead of immediately establishing contacts with us, as far as we know Turkey turned to its NATO partners to discuss this incident. As if we had hit their plane and not the other way around.

Do they wish to make NATO serve ISIS? I know that every state has its regional interests, and we always respect those. However, we will never turn a blind eye to such crimes as the one that was committed today.

Obviously, we expect the international community to make an effort to join forces in the fight against this common evil.

In this connection, we are counting on the active participation of all the countries in the region in this struggle. I am therefore very happy to meet with you today, Your Majesty. We will continue working with your special services experts and your military, as well as with other countries in the region.

Thank you.

<…>

Publication date: November 24, 2015, 15:40

Reading betweeen the lines of Putin’s UN speech: US is cornered in Syria

From Fort Russ

September 28, 2015
Blogger Dima Piterski
Translated by Kristina Rus

A few words about what preceded Putin’s speech. After the schedule of speeches was revealed, NASA immediately convened a press conference at almost the same time with some sensational details about Mars. It turned out that small rivers might flow there, or, perhaps not. It is clear that this was done so that Americans would change the channel and not watch Putin’s speech.

Many, including myself, noticed that simultaneously with the beginning of Putin’s speech a strange noise was heard in the room coming from the speakers. The noise was distinct and irritating. The aim is clear – to ruin the impression from the speech and try to bring Putin a little out of balance.

(…)

The intrigue was revealed by Obama, who in his speech called Assad a dictator, expressed complaints about Crimea, in short, ran the old song. Which is encouraging – it means they will not agree and there will not be any more hypocritical smiles and more hoots of the Russian fifth about “the extended hand of friendship” [from the US].

In Putin’s speech, who said everything we already know about the Western destruction of the Middle East and support of terrorists, asking a rhetorical question: “Do you realize what you’ve done?”, – I would emphasize one point that helps to envision his future course. The President first stressed, that the only legitimate authority in Syria is the Assad government, and secondly- that no one can arbitrarily act in circumvention of the UN Charter.

Since Russia has a veto power, then no coalition can legitimately act without our consent. But we can act without the consent of the United States and their lackeys because we are asked by the legitimate government of Syria. This is a strong position.

Another question is what will we do if the US still dares to attack Assad. But, obviously, all the consequences of such a step Putin will explain to Obama face-to-face in today’s talks.

I really hope that even a superficial agreement will not be achieved and Russia will continue the hard line on squeezing the U.S. out of Eurasia.

http://fortruss.blogspot.com/2015/09/reading-betweeen-lines-of-putins-un.html

Text: Vladimir Putin’s speech to the UN General Assembly, September 28, 2015

From the Kremlin website
http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/50385

70th session of the UN General Assembly

Vladimir Putin took part in the plenary meeting of the 70th session of the UN General Assembly in New York.

The UN General Assembly is the United Nations Organisation’s main consultative body and examines the principles for cooperation in ensuring international peace and security.
September 28, 2015 
President of Russia Vladimir Putin:

Mr. President,

Mr. Secretary General,

Distinguished heads of state and government,

Ladies and gentlemen,

The 70th anniversary of the United Nations is a good occasion to both take stock of history and talk about our common future. In 1945, the countries that defeated Nazism joined their efforts to lay a solid foundation for the postwar world order. Let me remind you that key decisions on the principles defining interaction between states, as well as the decision to establish the UN, were made in our country, at the Yalta Conference of the leaders of the anti-Hitler coalition.

The Yalta system was truly born in travail. It was born at the cost of tens of millions of lives and two world wars that swept through the planet in the 20th century. Let’s be fair: it helped humankind pass through turbulent, and at times dramatic, events of the last seven decades. It saved the world from large-scale upheavals.

The United Nations is unique in terms of legitimacy, representation and universality. True, the UN has been criticized lately for being inefficient or for the fact that decision-making on fundamental issues stalls due to insurmountable differences, especially among Security Council members.

However, I’d like to point out that there have always been differences in the UN throughout the 70 years of its history, and that the veto right has been regularly used by the United States, the United Kingdom, France, China and the Soviet Union, and later Russia. It is only natural for such a diverse and representative organization. When the UN was first established, nobody expected that there would always be unanimity. The mission of the organization is to seek and reach compromises, and its strength comes from taking different views and opinions into consideration. The decisions debated within the UN are either taken in the form of resolutions or not. As diplomats say, they either pass or they don’t. Any action taken by circumventing this procedure is illegitimate and constitutes a violation of the UN Charter and contemporary international law.

We all know that after the end of the Cold War the world was left with one center of dominance, and those who found themselves at the top of the pyramid were tempted to think that, since they are so powerful and exceptional, they know best what needs to be done and thus they don’t need to reckon with the UN, which, instead of rubber-stamping the decisions they need, often stands in their way.

That’s why they say that the UN has run its course and is now obsolete and outdated. Of course, the world changes, and the UN should also undergo natural transformation. Russia is ready to work together with its partners to develop the UN further on the basis of a broad consensus, but we consider any attempts to undermine the legitimacy of the United Nations as extremely dangerous. They may result in the collapse of the entire architecture of international relations, and then indeed there will be no rules left except for the rule of force. The world will be dominated by selfishness rather than collective effort, by dictate rather than equality and liberty, and instead of truly independent states we will have protectorates controlled from outside.

What is the meaning of state sovereignty, the term which has been mentioned by our colleagues here? It basically means freedom, every person and every state being free to choose their future.

By the way, this brings us to the issue of the so-called legitimacy of state authorities. You shouldn’t play with words and manipulate them. In international law, international affairs, every term has to be clearly defined, transparent and interpreted the same way by one and all.

We are all different, and we should respect that. Nations shouldn’t be forced to all conform to the same development model that somebody has declared the only appropriate one.

We should all remember the lessons of the past. For example, we remember examples from our Soviet past, when the Soviet Union exported social experiments, pushing for changes in other countries for ideological reasons, and this often led to tragic consequences and caused degradation instead of progress.

It seems, however, that instead of learning from other people’s mistakes, some prefer to repeat them and continue to export revolutions, only now these are “democratic” revolutions. Just look at the situation in the Middle East and Northern Africa already mentioned by the previous speaker. Of course, political and social problems have been piling up for a long time in this region, and people there wanted change. But what was the actual outcome? Instead of bringing about reforms, aggressive intervention rashly destroyed government institutions and the local way of life. Instead of democracy and progress, there is now violence, poverty, social disasters and total disregard for human rights, including even the right to life.

I’m urged to ask those who created this situation: do you at least realize now what you’ve done? But I’m afraid that this question will remain unanswered, because they have never abandoned their policy, which is based on arrogance, exceptionalism and impunity.

Power vacuum in some countries in the Middle East and Northern Africa obviously resulted in the emergence of areas of anarchy, which were quickly filled with extremists and terrorists. The so-called Islamic State has tens of thousands of militants fighting for it, including former Iraqi soldiers who were left on the street after the 2003 invasion. Many recruits come from Libya whose statehood was destroyed as a result of a gross violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1973. And now radical groups are joined by members of the so-called “moderate” Syrian opposition backed by the West. They get weapons and training, and then they defect and join the so-called Islamic State.

In fact, the Islamic State itself did not come out of nowhere. It was initially developed as a weapon against undesirable secular regimes. Having established control over parts of Syria and Iraq, Islamic State now aggressively expands into other regions. It seeks dominance in the Muslim world and beyond. Their plans go further.

The situation is extremely dangerous. In these circumstances, it is hypocritical and irresponsible to make declarations about the threat of terrorism and at the same time turn a blind eye to the channels used to finance and support terrorists, including revenues from drug trafficking, the illegal oil trade and the arms trade.

It is equally irresponsible to manipulate extremist groups and use them to achieve your political goals, hoping that later you’ll find a way to get rid of them or somehow eliminate them.

I’d like to tell those who engage in this: Gentlemen, the people you are dealing with are cruel but they are not dumb. They are as smart as you are. So, it’s a big question: who’s playing who here? The recent incident where the most “moderate” opposition group handed over their weapons to terrorists is a vivid example of that.

We consider that any attempts to flirt with terrorists, let alone arm them, are short-sighted and extremely dangerous. This may make the global terrorist threat much worse, spreading it to new regions around the globe, especially since there are fighters from many different countries, including European ones, gaining combat experience with Islamic State. Unfortunately, Russia is no exception.

Now that those thugs have tasted blood, we can’t allow them to return home and continue with their criminal activities. Nobody wants that, right?

Russia has consistently opposed terrorism in all its forms. Today, we provide military-technical assistance to Iraq, Syria and other regional countries fighting terrorist groups. We think it’s a big mistake to refuse to cooperate with the Syrian authorities and government forces who valiantly fight terrorists on the ground.

We should finally admit that President Assad’s government forces and the Kurdish militia are the only forces really fighting terrorists in Syria. Yes, we are aware of all the problems and conflicts in the region, but we definitely have to consider the actual situation on the ground.

Dear colleagues, I must note that such an honest and frank approach on Russia’s part has been recently used as a pretext for accusing it of its growing ambitions — as if those who say that have no ambitions at all. However, it is not about Russia’s ambitions, dear colleagues, but about the recognition of the fact that we can no longer tolerate the current state of affairs in the world.

What we actually propose is to be guided by common values and common interests rather than by ambitions. Relying on international law, we must join efforts to address the problems that all of us are facing, and create a genuinely broad international coalition against terrorism. Similar to the anti-Hitler coalition, it could unite a broad range of parties willing to stand firm against those who, just like the Nazis, sow evil and hatred of humankind. And of course, Muslim nations should play a key role in such a coalition, since Islamic State not only poses a direct threat to them, but also tarnishes one of the greatest world religions with its atrocities. The ideologues of these extremists make a mockery of Islam and subvert its true humanist values.

I would also like to address Muslim spiritual leaders: Your authority and your guidance are of great importance right now. It is essential to prevent people targeted for recruitment by extremists from making hasty decisions, and those who have already been deceived and, due to various circumstances, found themselves among terrorists, must be assisted in finding a way back to normal life, laying down arms and putting an end to fratricide.

In the days to come, Russia, as the current President of the UN Security Council, will convene a ministerial meeting to carry out a comprehensive analysis of the threats in the Middle East. First of all, we propose exploring opportunities for adopting a resolution that would serve to coordinate the efforts of all parties that oppose Islamic State and other terrorist groups. Once again, such coordination should be based upon the principles of the UN Charter.

We hope that the international community will be able to develop a comprehensive strategy of political stabilization, as well as social and economic recovery in the Middle East. Then, dear friends, there would be no need for setting up more refugee camps. Today, the flow of people forced to leave their native land has literally engulfed, first, the neighbouring countries, and then Europe. There are hundreds of thousands of them now, and before long, there might be millions. It is, essentially, a new, tragic Migration Period, and a harsh lesson for all of us, including Europe.

I would like to stress that refugees undoubtedly need our compassion and support. However, the only way to solve this problem for good is to restore statehood where it has been destroyed, to strengthen government institutions where they still exist, or are being re-established, to provide comprehensive military, economic and material assistance to countries in a difficult situation, and certainly to people who, despite all their ordeals, did not abandon their homes. Of course, any assistance to sovereign nations can, and should, be offered rather than imposed, in strict compliance with the UN Charter. In other words, our Organisation should support any measures that have been, or will be, taken in this regard in accordance with international law, and reject any actions that are in breach of the UN Charter. Above all, I believe it is of utmost importance to help restore government institutions in Libya, support the new government of Iraq, and provide comprehensive assistance to the legitimate government of Syria.

Dear colleagues, ensuring peace and global and regional stability remains a key task for the international community guided by the United Nations. We believe this means creating an equal and indivisible security environment that would not serve a privileged few, but everyone. Indeed, it is a challenging, complicated and time-consuming task, but there is simply no alternative.

Sadly, some of our counterparts are still dominated by their Cold War-era bloc mentality and the ambition to conquer new geopolitical areas. First, they continued their policy of expanding NATO – one should wonder why, considering that the Warsaw Pact had ceased to exist and the Soviet Union had disintegrated.

Nevertheless, NATO has kept on expanding, together with its military infrastructure. Next, the post-Soviet states were forced to face a false choice between joining the West and carrying on with the East. Sooner or later, this logic of confrontation was bound to spark off a major geopolitical crisis. And that is exactly what happened in Ukraine, where the people’s widespread frustration with the government was used for instigating a coup d’état from abroad. This has triggered a civil war. We are convinced that the only way out of this dead end lies through comprehensive and diligent implementation of the Minsk agreements of February 12th, 2015. Ukraine’s territorial integrity cannot be secured through the use of threats or military force, but it must be secured. The people of Donbas should have their rights and interests genuinely considered, and their choice respected; they should be engaged in devising the key elements of the country’s political system, in line with the provisions of the Minsk agreements. Such steps would guarantee that Ukraine will develop as a civilized state, and a vital link in creating a common space of security and economic cooperation, both in Europe and in Eurasia.

Ladies and gentlemen, I have deliberately mentioned a common space for economic cooperation. Until quite recently, it seemed that we would learn to do without dividing lines in the area of the economy with its objective market laws, and act based on transparent and jointly formulated rules, including the WTO principles, which embrace free trade and investment and fair competition. However, unilaterally imposed sanctions circumventing the UN Charter have all but become commonplace today. They not only serve political objectives, but are also used for eliminating market competition.

I would like to note one more sign of rising economic selfishness. A number of nations have chosen to create exclusive economic associations, with their establishment being negotiated behind closed doors, secretly from those very nations’ own public and business communities, as well as from the rest of the world. Other states, whose interests may be affected, have not been informed of anything, either. It seems that someone would like to impose upon us some new game rules, deliberately tailored to accommodate the interests of a privileged few, with the WTO having no say in it. This is fraught with utterly unbalancing global trade and splitting up the global economic space.

These issues affect the interests of all nations and influence the future of the entire global economy. That is why we propose discussing those issues within the framework of the United Nations, the WTO and the G20. Contrary to the policy of exclusion, Russia advocates harmonizing regional economic projects. I am referring to the so-called ”integration of integrations“ based on the universal and transparent rules of international trade. As an example, I would like to cite our plans to interconnect the Eurasian Economic Union with China’s initiative for creating a Silk Road economic belt. We continue to see great promise in harmonizing the integration vehicles between the Eurasian Economic Union and the European Union.

Ladies and gentlemen, one more issue that shall affect the future of the entire humankind is climate change. It is in our interest to ensure that the coming UN Climate Change Conference that will take place in Paris in December this year should deliver some feasible results. As part of our national contribution, we plan to limit greenhouse gas emissions to 70–75 percent of the 1990 levels by the year 2030.

However, I suggest that we take a broader look at the issue. Admittedly, we may be able to defuse it for a while by introducing emission quotas and using other tactical measures, but we certainly will not solve it for good that way. What we need is an essentially different approach, one that would involve introducing new, groundbreaking, nature-like technologies that would not damage the environment, but rather work in harmony with it, enabling us to restore the balance between the biosphere and technology upset by human activities.

It is indeed a challenge of global proportions. And I am confident that humanity does have the necessary intellectual capacity to respond to it. We need to join our efforts, primarily engaging countries that possess strong research and development capabilities, and have made significant advances in fundamental research. We propose convening a special forum under the auspices of the UN to comprehensively address issues related to the depletion of natural resources, habitat destruction, and climate change. Russia is willing to co-sponsor such a forum.

Ladies and gentlemen, dear colleagues. On January 10th, 1946, the UN General Assembly convened for its first meeting in London. Chairman of the Preparatory Commission Dr. Zuleta Angel, a Colombian diplomat, opened the session by offering what I see as a very concise definition of the principles that the United Nations should be based upon, which are good will, disdain for scheming and trickery, and a spirit of cooperation. Today, his words sound like guidance for all of us.

Russia is confident of the United Nations’ enormous potential, which should help us avoid a new confrontation and embrace a strategy of cooperation. Hand in hand with other nations, we will consistently work to strengthen the UN’s central, coordinating role. I am convinced that by working together, we will make the world stable and safe, and provide an enabling environment for the development of all nations and peoples.

Thank you.