Pres. Vladimir Putin’s speech at military parade marking 72nd anniversary of Victory in the 1941–45 Great Patriotic War

From Kremlin.ru

May 9, 2017

At the military parade marking the 72nd anniversary of Victory in the 1941–45 Great Patriotic War.

Speech at military parade marking the 72nd anniversary of Victory in the 1941–45 Great Patriotic War

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Citizens of Russia, veterans, comrade soldiers and sailors, sergeants, midshipmen and corporals, comrade officers, generals and admirals,

I congratulate you on Victory Day. Happy holiday, a holiday whose significance was earned by the people themselves with their unparalleled feat of liberating our Fatherland and their heroic and decisive contribution to the defeat of Nazism.

The triumphant victory over that terrible totalitarian force will forever remain in the history of humankind as a supreme triumph of life and reason over death and barbarity.

It is our duty to remember that the victory was achieved at the cost on irreparable sacrifices, that the war claimed millions of lives. This monstrous tragedy was made possible primarily due to connivance to the criminal ideology of racial superiority and due to the lack of unity among the world’s leading nations. This allowed the Nazis to arrogate the right to decide the destiny of other peoples, to unleash the cruellest, bloodiest war, to enslave nearly all European nations and make them serve their murderous goals.

The Soviet Union faced the most powerful assaults by the Nazis.

But there was not, there is not and there will never be a power that could defeat our people.

They fought to the bitter end defending the homeland, and achieved the seemingly impossible by turning around the bloody wheel of World War II, and drove the enemy back to its home whence it dared to invade our land, crushed Nazism and put an end to its atrocities.

We will never forget that it was our fathers, grandfathers and great-grandfathers who won back Europe’s freedom and the long-awaited peace.

The Great Victory was won by marshals and privates, volunteers and home front workers, partisans and the fighters of the underground. Old people and children. People of all ethnicities and trades. They all passed through the unthinkable ordeals of World War II with courage and unrivalled patience.

Without sleep or rest, they worked at the plants and in hospitals, they burnt in tanks, froze in trenches, drowned at river crossings, shielded their comrades in arms. They rushed into attacks realising that the battle could be their last one. They died without learning of the Victory yet they did all they could to bring it closer.

Today, we bow our heads to cherish the memory of those who did not come back from the war, in memory of the sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, grandfathers and great-grandfathers, husbands, wives, sisters, fellow soldiers, family members and friends. We mourn the veterans who are already gone.

I ask for a minute of silence.

(A minute of silence)

Dear friends,

We celebrate Victory Day in each family across our huge country. No family was spared by the war. And we begin by honouring our veterans. We do it without hiding our tears and without shunning high-sounding words. They come from our hearts filled with respect and gratitude.

We feel a kinship and a piercing closeness to the generation of heroes and victors, and when addressing them, I will say: You will never feel ashamed of us.

A Russian soldier is ready today as ever for any sacrifice for his Motherland, for his people, showing courage and heroism.

Such warriors, soldiers and officers are here now, standing in the parade formations on Moscow’s Red Square. The country is proud of you!

We will always cherish Russia as you, the Soldiers of Victory, did, and we will strengthen the traditions of patriotism and committed service to the Fatherland.

The lessons of the past war call on us to be vigilant. And the Russian Armed Forces are ready to counter any potential aggression.

Life itself demands from us that we must increase our defence potential. However, the consolidation of the world community is needed for an effective fight against terrorism, extremism, neo-Nazism and other threats.

We are open to such cooperation. Russia will always side with the forces of peace, with those who opt for equal partnership, who reject wars as contrary to the very essence of life and the nature of man.

Dear friends,

The further the events of the Great Patriotic War fade into history, the greater is our responsibility to future generations. We must give them stability and peace on the planet. We must pass on to them the grave heroic truth and memory of the Great Patriotic War, the spirit and meaning of Great Victory.

We must do this so that our descendants should love Russia as much, and the people’s memory should forever cherish the generation that selflessly fought for its Motherland and protected its freedom and independence with honour.

Glory to the victorious people!

Happy holiday! Happy Victory Day!

Hurray!

http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/54467

The real meaning behind Putin’s “Ukrainian terrorism” speech

“…We also see the recent serious flare-up in southeast Ukraine. This escalation pursues the clear aim of preventing the Minsk Agreements from going ahead. The current Ukrainian authorities are obviously not seeking a peaceful solution to this very complex problem and have decided to opt for the use of force instead. What is more, they speak openly about organising sabotage and terrorism, particularly in Russia. Obviously, this is a matter of great concern…”

Vladimir Putin’s speech at meeting of Federal Security Service Board, February 16, 2017
http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/53883

From Fort Russ

February 18, 2017 – Fort Russ –
Rostislav Ishchenko, RIA Analytics – translated by J. Arnoldski –
February 16, 2017

On Thursday, February 16th, at the annual meeting of the Collegium of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), Vladimir Putin drew particular attention to the situation in South-East Ukraine. According to the president, Ukrainian authorities are deliberately aggravating the situation in the conflict zone in Donbass in order to disrupt the Minsk Agreements and are betting on a military solution to the problem.
The head of state also emphasized that the Kiev authorities “are openly speaking of the organization of sabotage and terroristic, subversive work, including in Russia.”
A signal to the West
It is clear that anti-terrorist and counter-intelligence work lies at the heart of the FSB’s operations. But it is also clear that such statements by the president, by being made public, were aimed primarily at an external audience.
After all, the FSB leadership can be instructed in secret. Moreover, no one doubts that since the very beginning of the civil war in Ukraine, the FSB has followed attempts to spill the war over into Russian territory. Since 2014, the press has periodically been given information on the arrest of both Ukrainian and Russian citizens caught trying to conduct intelligence reconnaissance on the territory of Russia in the interests of Kiev, as well as prepare terrorist attacks.
Thus, the president’s statement was intended not for a Russian, but for a foreign audience. But this audience is not Ukrainian. If there was a desire to appeal to the Ukrainian government, then this would be done through diplomatic channels. And this statement is also not a threat of military response to Ukrainian provocations. Otherwise it would have been made at the collegium of the Ministry of Defense of Security Council.
The choice of place and format for this statement clearly indicates that it is a signal sent to our Western partners. 
 
The FSB has great capacity for conducting counter-terrorist operations. It should be noted that preventative actions against terrorists and their masterminds are one of the main work components of the FSB not necessarily limited to Russian territory.
Sure, their operations on the territory of another state are limited by stringent conditions. In order for preventative counter-terrorism measures on a foreign territory to be justified from the point of view of international law, the concerned state must either be in a state of war or have suffered an unprovoked attack. 
There is yet another scenario which is enshrined at the level of the UN Security Council: the loss by an acting government of control over territory from which terrorist activities are being conducted. This scenario is not relevant in this case, however, insofar as the international community does not consider the Kiev government to be incapable of controlling the situation on the territory of Ukraine.
Yet to this day Kiev has explained away all sorts of provocations against Russia, including bloody ones (in Crimea) as the independent initiatives of individuals and refused to recognize their belonging to Ukraine’s security agencies. Russia’s reaction, however, has been limited to diplomatic protests, documenting the facts of provocations, collecting evidence on the involvement of Ukraine’s Main Intelligence Directorate (GUR), SBU, and General Staff in them, and presenting these reports to relevant international organizations.
State Terrorism
Apparently, a critical mass of facts has been collected and a second aspect – international law – is now going to be activated. 

Transcript, Vladimir Putin speech at the Valdai, October 27, 2016 — Part 1

Vladimir Putin’s annual address, October 27, 2016 — Part 1
At Valdai Discussion Club: “The Future in Progress: Shaping the World of Tomorrow”, October 24-27, 2016
Sochi, Russian Federation.
RT
Translated by Inessa Sinchougova

Transcript, Part 1:

Moderator Timothy Colton, Professor of Russian Studies, Harvard University: 

So, good afternoon, ladies and gentleman. My name is Timothy Colton. I know quite a few of the people in the room. And I’m very happy to have been asked to moderate this final session of our 2016 Valdai, as you call it.

I’d like to start with a special welcome to our lead-off speaker and main speaker this afternoon [subtitled translation by Inessa S.:] Russian President Vladimir Putin. He found the time to be here today – we all know how busy he is!

We appreciate as always your ability to answer questions at the end as well. When you retire, Mr. President, and go to write your memoirs, try to analysis just how much time you spent in your career answering people’s questions [Q&A]. I think you will be astonished!. We are really appreciative of this. Thank you for being here today.

President Vladimir Putin

Thank you. Dear Tarja, Heinz, colleagues, ladies and gentlemen. It is a great pleasure to see you again.

I would like to start by thanking all Russia’s and international participants at the Valdai Discussion Club gor your constructive roles in this work, and I want to thank our distinguished guests for their willingness to take part in this open discussion.

Our esteemed moderator just wished me a sound departure into retirement, and I wish that for myself too – when the time comes. This is the right approach and will be the right thing to do.

But I am not yet retired! I am for now the leader of this big country. As such, it is fitting to show restraint and avoid displays of aggressive reactions. I don’t think that this is my style in any case.

But I do think we should be frank with each other, particularly here in this forum. I think we should hold candid, open discussions, otherwise, our dialogue is pointless, stale, and will not hold anyone’s interest for too long.

I think that this style of discussion is exceptionally needed today given the great changes taking place in the world. The theme of our meeting this year “The Future in Progress: Shaping the World of Tomorrow” is very topical.

Last year, the Valdai forum participants discussed the problems with the current world order. Unfortunately, little has changed for the better over these last months. Indeed, it would be more honest to say that nothing has changed for the better.

The tensions created by shifts in distribution of economic and political influence continue to increase. Mutual distrust creates a burden that narrows our possibilities for finding effective responses to the real threats and challenges facing the world today.

Essentially, the entire globalization project is in crisis today, and in Europe, as we know well and hear of all the time, that multiculturalism has failed.

I think this situation is in many respects the result of mistaken, hasty and to some extent over-confident choices made by some countries’ elites a quarter of a century ago. Back then, in the late 1980s – early 1990s, there was a chance not just to accelerate the globalization process, but also to give it a different quality and make it more harmonious and sustainable in nature.

But some countries that saw themselves as victors in the Cold War — not just saw themselves this way, but said it openly — they proceeded to simply reshape the global political and economic order to fit their own interests.

In their euphoria, they essentially abandoned substantive and equal dialogue with other members of the international community, and chose not to improve or create universal institutions, attempting to bring the entire world instead under the spread of their organizations, norms, and rules.

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Russia’s national security strategy for 2016 in 9 key points

From RT
December 31. 2015

(Additional links and audio on website)

President Vladimir Putin has signed the country’s national security strategy for 2016 with color revolutions and biological weapons named as primary threats to Russia. Here are nine key points you want to know about the document.

1. “Color Revolutions” and corruption among key threats to Russia’s security

Listed among threats to national security are “color revolutions” and their instigation, the undermining of traditional values, and corruption.

READ MORE: Russian military to order major research to counter ‘color revolutions’

Who could be engaged in such activities? According to the document, “radical social groups which use nationalist and religious extremist ideologies, foreign and international NGOs, and also private citizens” who work to undermine Russia’s territorial integrity and destabilize political processes.

The activities of foreign intelligence services, terrorist and extremist organizations, and criminal groups are also classified as threats.

2. US complicates things with bio weapons threat

The growing number of countries in possession of nuclear weapons has also increased certain risks, the decree says. Indeed the risk of countries gaining possession of and using chemical weapons, as well as biological weapons, has risen as well, it elaborates.

READ MORE: US bioweapons labs, billions in research is a ‘real problem’ – Russian security chief

“The network of US biological military labs is expanding on the territories of countries neighboring Russia,” it said. “Russia’s independent foreign and domestic policy has been met with counteraction by the US and its allies, seeking to maintain its dominance in world affairs.”

3. NATO expansion goes overboard

The North Atlantic alliance advance towards Russia’s borders is a threat to national security, according to the document. Processes of militarization and arms build-ups are unfolding in regions neighboring Russia, it says, adding that “the principles of equal and indivisible security” are not being respected in the Euro-Atlantic, Eurasian and Asia-Pacific regions.

Nonetheless, Russia is still interested in a fair dialogue and good relations with NATO, the US and the EU, the strategy says. Under the partnership, it’s important to enhance mechanisms “provided by international treaties on arms control, confidence-building measures, issues related to non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the expansion of cooperation in the fight against terrorism, the settlement of regional conflicts,” it says.

4. Ukraine figures

US and EU support of the coup in Ukraine has led to a deep split in Ukrainian society and prompted an armed conflict, the decree stated. The rise of far-right nationalist ideology and the intentionally-created image of Russia as an “enemy” in Ukraine have made it a “long-term source of instability in Europe and directly at the Russian border.”

5. No to nukes?

Russia may be ready to discuss curbing its nuclear potential, but only based on mutual agreements and multi-lateral talks, the document states. Curtailing Russia’s nuclear potential will only occur if it were also to “contribute to the creation of appropriate conditions that will enable a reduction of nuclear weapons, without damaging international security and strategic stability.”

At the same time, Russia plans to prevent any military conflicts by maintaining its nuclear capabilities as a deterent, but would resort to the military option only if all other non-military options had failed.

6. Info warfare

Secret services have become increasingly active in using their capabilities in the struggle for international influence, the document highlighted.

 READ MORE:#RT10 anniversary event on shape-shifting powers in today’s world

“An entire spectrum of political, financial, economic and information instruments has been brought into struggle for influence in the international arena.”

7. When to use military force

The strategy allows the use of military force only in cases when other measures to “protect the national interests” are ineffective.

8. Money matters

Russia’s economic stability is in danger mainly because of its low level of competitiveness and its resource-dependent economy.

Among other threats is “a lag in the development of advanced technologies, the vulnerability of the financial system, the imbalance of the budgetary system, the economy going offshore, the exhaustion of the raw materials base, the strength of the shadow economy, conditions leading to corruption and criminal activities, and uneven development of regions.”

The fact that Russia is dependent on the external economic environment doesn’t help matters, the document reads. Economic restrictions, global and regional crises, as well as the misuse use of the law, among other things, will have a negative impact on the economy, and in the future could lead to a deficit of mineral, water, and biological resources.

“The growing influence of political factors on economic processes, as well as attempts by individual states to use economic methods, tools of financial, trade, investment and technology policies to solve their geopolitical problems, weakens the stability of the system of international economic relations.

9. What’s next for the economy?

Understanding the problems faced by the country’s economy, the Russian government plans to take measures to deal with them. To ensure economic security, the country will need to balance its budget, prevent capital outflows, and reduce inflation, the document states.

“To resist the hazards to economic security, the government… will carry out a national social and economic policy involving … strengthening of the financial system, ensuring its sovereignty and the stability of the national currency”.

Russia also considers developing relations with China, India, Latin America and Africa as highly important.

https://www.rt.com/news/327608-russia-national-security-strategy/

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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Robert Legvold vs. Valdai Club – goals in conflict

Russians cannot afford to be naïve about Americans. The Americans who control power and policy in the United States have goals in conflict with most of the world, including Russia. The organizations that formulate and maintain the current iterations of the “America pre-eminent” philosophy, such as the Council on Foreign Relations, exist in a reality-less vacuum. They live to further their agenda and nothing else. There is no compromise, no room for discussion with opposing views. They have no mirrors for self-reflection and humility. These individuals are not just misguided; they are very, very dangerous to the rest of the world.

There are other Americans who make excellent choices to speak or moderate at international symposiums for peace due to their commitment to building peace and harmonious world community, respecting national sovereignty, multi-polarity, and speaking truth. They view other people as neighbors, not threats or competitors. They are humble, honest, reality-based, and well aware of America’s faults. They are not bound by prejudice or narrow interest. It is possible to collaborate with them to move our world towards peace and understanding.

Robert Legvold is not one of them. Robert Legvold’s background is with the Council on Foreign Relations and the Harriman Institute. He and his compatriots have absolutely nothing to do with the goals of Valdai. CFR’s recent report on China is one example of their supremacist philosophy.

Legvold was given the powerful and important role of moderating the final session at the Valdai Club with President Vladimir Putin in October. Why?

Below is the transcript of his long 11-minute speech, followed by the responses of President Putin and Jack Matlock.

Legvold refused to deal with the facts about American imperialism and foreign intervention. He wrote off American history as a distortion in other people’s perspective. That shows Legvold is a liar and a fool. Any school child can find reams of evidence and testimony from official government reports and think tank documents on American objectives, including from the CFR itself. Legvold’s stance also indicates pathology. Unfortunately, he is not alone.

Here is Legvold out of context:

“…it is not just misguided policy, but it is malevolent policy. The US foreign policy today is designed, in the case of Russia, to do genuine harm to Russia’s foreign policy interests, to contain Russia, to roll Russia back, to reduce its influence and to damage its strategic interests and stakes, both more broadly and within the immediate neighborhood. But even beyond that, that it is now a case of a US policy committed to regime change within Russia itself…”

If he had said this, he would have spoken the truth. Instead, he lied to the audience, and he did it with clever words.

In addition, he rudely and inappropriately excluded Mr. Larijani and Mr. Klaus in his remarks, choosing to focus on the United States-Russia relationship which he called the most important. The “me, me, me” focus was immature and embarrassing. And it was such a waste of time for those two men.

Why was he chosen to moderate? Was this an attempt at bridge-building by Valdai members? Instead of facilitating a productive back-and-forth discussion between panel members and the audience, Legvold hijacked the meeting. That’s inexcusable.

Russians and others must understand that these Americans smile, they have impressive titles and CVs, they know exactly what words to say to appeal to people or confuse them (“if you will forgive me and if you will indulge me”), but they will walk right over or through anyone. To understand these people, look at American history. Their friends are coup d’etat agents and financiers. They have an inflexible agenda, and they’re very self-focused.

There is no conceivable reason for having someone like Robert Legvold speak at Valdai. To do so interrupts Valdai’s important work.

Here are links to the video
http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/50548/videos
http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/50548

The other speakers on the panel were:

  • Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation
  • Ali Larijani, Speaker of the Islamic Consultative Council (parliament) of the Islamic Republic of Iran
  • Vaclav Klaus, former President of the Czech Republic
  • Jack Matlock, last US Ambassador to the USSR, Professor of Princeton University
  • Andrey Bystritsky, Chairman of the Board of the Foundation for Development and Support of the Valdai Discussion Club

Complete transcript of  President Putin’s remarks with some of Jack Matlock and Robert Legvold’s remarks https://freeukrainenow.org/2015/11/17/valdai-club-october-22-2015-president-putins-full-remarks/

Transcript at 1:24:06

Robert Legvold: Thank you, Ambassador Matlock. Thank you for reminding us of what was necessary and what worked in ending the Cold War and in many respects, what’s missing in our own day at this point.

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G20 press conference of Vladimir Putin: ISIS oil convoys “stretching for dozens of kilometers”, ISIS funding from 40 countries including G20

Vladimir Putin answered journalists’ questions after the G20 summit.

Vladimir Putin answered journalists’ questions after the G20 summit.
Vladimir Putin answered journalists’ questions after the G20 summit.

On ISIS funding:

We have established that financing is coming from 40 countries, including G20 countries. We discussed this issue.

On ISIS oil trade and how easy it is to strike ISIS:

I also showed our colleagues satellite images and aerial photographs that show very clearly the scale of this illegal trade in oil and petroleum products. You see columns of refuelling vehicles stretching for dozens of kilometres in lines so long that from a height of 4,000–5,000 metres they vanish over the horizon. It really looks more like an oil pipeline system.

On Ukraine’s $3 billion debt to Russia:

Our partners from the IMF have been convincing us that we could accept to restructure Ukraine’s debt of $3 billion, which was to have been paid by the end of next month, the end of this year… We were asked to defer this payment of $3 billion to next year. I said that we are ready to accept a deeper restructuring with no payment this year, a payment of $1 billion next year, $1 billion in 2017, and $1 billion in 2018. But our partners are sure that Ukraine’s solvency will grow and that we can be sure of receiving $3 billion next year. If this is the case, they see no risk in providing guarantees for this credit.

We have asked for such guarantees either from the United States government, the European Union, or one of the big international financial institutions. We hope that this matter will be settled by the start of December this year, given the International Monetary Fund’s work timetable.

If our partners are that certain that Ukraine’s solvency will improve, persuade us that this is so, and believe this themselves, let them provide guarantees. If they cannot provide guarantees, this means that they do not believe in the Ukrainian economy’s future. I think this would not be good for them if this is so, and if they are trying to convince us of something that is not in fact the case, this would not be good for our Ukrainian partners either.

We think that this proposal is a realistic possibility and we see no problems in sharing the risks with our partners.

On fighting ISIS, US-led coalition, and Syrian opposition groups:

Question: Mr President, we frequently hear your western partners accuse Russia’s Aerospace Forces of hitting targets in Syria that are not ISIS, but are so-called moderate opposition groups. Did their opinion change over the course of the summit? What were you feeling during the discussions?

And the second part of the question. The US-led anti-ISIS operation did not succeed in degrading ISIS. What difference do you see between Russia’s actions in Syria and those of the US-led coalition, from a military standpoint?

Vladimir Putin: In general, this criticism was practically not voiced. It’s hard to even criticise us. They tell us, “You’re hitting the wrong targets!” Then we say, “Tell us where we should strike, give us the targets!” But they don’t give them to us. “Then tell us where we shouldn’t hit.” And they don’t tell us that, either. How, then, can we be criticised?

You know, I don’t want to sneer at this. Strangely enough, they have their own reasons for it. And one of them, I will tell you point blank, is that they are afraid to give us a list of territories not to strike, because they fear that this is exactly where we will strike, that we will deceive them. It seems they judge us based on their own notions of decency.

But I can confirm that right now (on the battlefield, so to speak), we have established contacts with some (not all, of course) of the uncompromising, even armed Syrian opposition groups; they themselves asked us not to strike the territories they control. We have reached these agreements and are fulfilling them.

Moreover, this part of the armed opposition believes that it is possible to begin active operations against terrorist organisations – against ISIS first of all – with our support from the air. And we are prepared to provide that support. If this happens, it will mean that President al-Assad’s army on one side and the armed opposition on the other are fighting their common enemy. It seems to me that this can become a good foundation for subsequent work and a platform for political settlement.

…now is not the time to assess who is better or worse, or look for reasons why the previous steps have been more or less effective. Right now, we need to look forward and join forces in the fight against this common threat.

The full press conference on November 16 from Kremlin.ru:

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good evening, friends, ladies and gentlemen,

Before we start these questions and answers, I want to thank the President of Turkey, Mr Erdogan, and all of our Turkish colleagues for the very professional organisation of the G20 summit. They created a very good, trusting and open atmosphere in which to work and discuss the issues that were the whole point of our getting together.

I want to thank Turkey’s people for their welcoming attitude to our work and the help that we received at practically every step.

Question: It would seem that fighting terrorism was one of the summit’s main subjects of discussion. We know that there will be no resolving this problem unless we take more effective steps to prevent the financing of terrorism. Were any concrete measures discussed at the summit? What was the line of discussion on these measures, and did you reach any agreements?

Continue reading

Transcript of Vladimir Putin’s speech at the Valdai Club, October 22

Updated with information on the panel speakers.

President Putin’s speech was approximately 30 minutes long; the transcript is below is partial, only providing about 2/3 of it. The Kremlin website says “to be continued”, so hopefully the full transcript of his speech and answers to questions, as well as the remarks of the other speakers will be available soon. It would be helpful if names of the speakers are also listed, since the Valdai Club website does not have any information about the final panel or its moderator.

The video is translated into English, and some of the speakers speak English. The video is available here:
http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/50548/videos
http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/50548

This was a panel of speakers. In addition to President Putin, the other speakers were
–Speaker of the Islamic Consultative Council (parliament) of the Islamic Republic of Iran Ali Larijani,
–Former President of the Czech Republic Vaclav Klaus
–The last US Ambassador to the USSR Jack Matlock, Professor of Princeton University

The initial speaker was Andrey Bystritsky, Chairman of the Board of the Foundation for Development and Support of the Valdai Discussion Club, and the moderator was Professor Robert Legvold of Columbia University — an American.

Robert Legvold, unfortunately, was a surprising moderator choice, detracting from the overall discussion. A better choice would have been someone with an actual background in US foreign policy, from an independent point of view and with a respectful attitude. Anglo-American ignorance and bombast are so frequent in public, but there are other Americans who would have provided an intelligent and enlivening addition to the discussion and a humble attitude. A knowledge disconnect does not further the discussion.

And it is a Russian forum, after all. Valdai cannot sabotage its own aims by attempting to dialogue with those whose heads are in the sand if it wants to maintain legitimacy, advance the cause of peace, and advance the discussion past what is already well known. When a transcript of Legvold’s remarks becomes available, it will be posted on this website, along with some easily available resources to provide background on why Russia and other countries are correct in their assessment of American threat.

After speakers’ remarks, questions from the moderator and from the audience start about 1:24.

From en.Kremlin.ru

Vladimir Putin took part in the final plenary session of the 12th annual meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club.

This topic of this year’s Valdai conference is Societies Between War and Peace: Overcoming the Logic of Conflict in Tomorrow’s World. In the period between October 19 and 22, experts from 30 countries have been considering various aspects of the perception of war and peace both in the public consciousness and in international relations, religion and economic interaction between states.

* * *

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Colleagues, ladies and gentlemen,

Allow me to greet you here at this regular meeting of the Valdai International Club.

It is true that for over 10 years now this has been a platform to discuss the most pressing issues and consider the directions and prospects for the development of Russia and the whole world. The participants change, of course, but overall, this discussion platform retains its core, so to speak – we have turned into a kind of mutually understanding environment.

We have an open discussion here; this is an open intellectual platform for an exchange of views, assessments and forecasts that are very important for us here in Russia. I would like to thank all the Russian and foreign politicians, experts, public figures and journalists taking part in the work of this club.

This year the discussion focusses on issues of war and peace. This topic has clearly been the concern of humanity throughout its history. Back in ancient times, in antiquity people argued about the nature, the causes of conflicts, about the fair and unfair use of force, of whether wars would always accompany the development of civilisation, broken only by ceasefires, or would the time come when arguments and conflicts are resolved without war.

I’m sure you recalled our great writer Leo Tolstoy here. In his great novel War and Peace, he wrote that war contradicted human reason and human nature, while peace in his opinion was good for people.

True, peace, a peaceful life have always been humanity’s ideal. State figures, philosophers and lawyers have often come up with models for a peaceful interaction between nations. Various coalitions and alliances declared that their goal was to ensure strong, ‘lasting’ peace as they used to say. However, the problem was that they often turned to war as a way to resolve the accumulated contradictions, while war itself served as a means for establishing new post-war hierarchies in the world.

Meanwhile peace, as a state of world politics, has never been stable and did not come of itself. Periods of peace in both European and world history were always been based on securing and maintaining the existing balance of forces. This happened in the 17th century in the times of the se-called Peace of Westphalia, which put an end to the Thirty Years’ War. Then in the 19th century, in the time of the Vienna Congress; and again 70 years ago in Yalta, when the victors over Nazism made the decision to set up the United Nations Organisation and lay down the principles of relations between states.

With the appearance of nuclear weapons, it became clear that there could be no winner in a global conflict. There can be only one end – guaranteed mutual destruction. It so happened that in its attempt to create ever more destructive weapons humanity has made any big war pointless.

Incidentally, the world leaders of the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s and even 1980s did treat the use of armed force as an exceptional measure. In this sense, they behaved responsibly, weighing all the circumstances and possible consequences.

The end of the Cold War put an end to ideological opposition, but the basis for arguments and geopolitical conflicts remained. All states have always had and will continue to have their own diverse interests, while the course of world history has always been accompanied by competition between nations and their alliances. In my view, this is absolutely natural.

The main thing is to ensure that this competition develops within the framework of fixed political, legal and moral norms and rules. Otherwise, competition and conflicts of interest may lead to acute crises and dramatic outbursts.

We have seen this happen many times in the past. Today, unfortunately, we have again come across similar situations. Attempts to promote a model of unilateral domination, as I have said on numerous occasions, have led to an imbalance in the system of international law and global regulation, which means there is a threat, and political, economic or military competition may get out of control.

What, for instance, could such uncontrolled competition mean for international security? A growing number of regional conflicts, especially in ‘border’ areas, where the interests of major nations or blocs meet. This can also lead to the probable downfall of the system of non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (which I also consider to be very dangerous), which, in turn, would result in a new spiral of the arms race.

We have already seen the appearance of the concept of the so-called disarming first strike, including one with the use of high-precision long-range non-nuclear weapons comparable in their effect to nuclear weapons.

The use of the threat of a nuclear missile attack from Iran as an excuse, as we know, has destroyed the fundamental basis of modern international security – the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. The United States has unilaterally seceded from the treaty. Incidentally, today we have resolved the Iranian issue and there is no threat from Iran and never has been, just as we said.

The thing that seemed to have led our American partners to build an anti-missile defence system is gone. It would be reasonable to expect work to develop the US anti-missile defence system to come to an end as well. What is actually happening? Nothing of the kind, or actually the opposite – everything continues.

Recently the United States conducted the first test of the anti-missile defence system in Europe. What does this mean? It means we were right when we argued with our American partners. They were simply trying yet again to mislead us and the whole world. To put it plainly, they were lying. It was not about the hypothetical Iranian threat, which never existed. It was about an attempt to destroy the strategic balance, to change the balance of forces in their favour not only to dominate, but to have the opportunity to dictate their will to all: to their geopolitical competition and, I believe, to their allies as well. This is a very dangerous scenario, harmful to all, including, in my opinion, to the United States.

The nuclear deterrent lost its value. Some probably even had the illusion that victory of one party in a world conflict was again possible – without irreversible, unacceptable, as experts say, consequences for the winner, if there ever is one.

In the past 25 years, the threshold for the use of force has gone down noticeably. The anti-war immunity we have acquired after two world wars, which we had on a subconscious, psychological level, has become weaker. The very perception of war has changed: for TV viewers it was becoming and has now become an entertaining media picture, as if nobody dies in combat, as if people do not suffer and cities and entire states are not destroyed.

Unfortunately, military terminology is becoming part of everyday life. Thus, trade and sanctions wars have become today’s global economic reality – this has become a set phrase used by the media. The sanctions, meanwhile, are often used also as an instrument of unfair competition to put pressure on or completely ‘throw’ competition out of the market. As an example, I could take the outright epidemic of fines imposed on companies, including European ones, by the United States. Flimsy pretexts are being used, and all those who dare violate the unilateral American sanctions are severely punished.

You know, this may not be Russia’s business, but this is a discussion club, therefore I will ask: Is that the way one treats allies? No, this is how one treats vassals who dare act as they wish – they are punished for misbehaving.

Last year a fine was imposed on a French bank to a total of almost $9 billion – $8.9 billion, I believe. Toyota paid $1.2 billion, while the German Commerzbank signed an agreement to pay $1.7 billion into the American budget, and so forth.

We also see the development of the process to create non-transparent economic blocs, which is done following practically all the rules of conspiracy. The goal is obvious – to reformat the world economy in a way that would make it possible to extract a greater profit from domination and the spread of economic, trade and technological regulation standards.

The creation of economic blocs by imposing their terms on the strongest players would clearly not make the world safer, but would only create time bombs, conditions for future conflicts.

The World Trade Organisation was once set up. True, the discussion there is not proceeding smoothly, and the Doha round of talks ended in a deadlock, possibly, but we should continue looking for ways out and for compromise, because only compromise can lead to the creation of a long-term system of relations in any sphere, including the economy. Meanwhile, if we dismiss that the concerns of certain countries – participants in economic communication, if we pretend that they can be bypassed, the contradictions will not go away, they will not be resolved, they will remain, which means that one day they will make themselves known.

As you know, our approach is different. While creating the Eurasian Economic Union we tried to develop relations with our partners, including relations within the Chinese Silk Road Economic Belt initiative. We are actively working on the basis of equality in BRICS, APEC and the G20.

The global information space is also shaken by wars today, in a manner of speaking. The ‘only correct’ viewpoint and interpretation of events is aggressively imposed on people, certain facts are either concealed or manipulated. We are all used to labelling and the creation of an enemy image.

The authorities in countries that seemed to have always appealed to such values as freedom of speech and the free dissemination of information – something we have heard about so often in the past – are now trying to prevent the spreading of objective information and any opinion that differs from their own; they declare it hostile propaganda that needs to be combatted, clearly using undemocratic means.

Unfortunately, we hear the words war and conflict ever more frequently when talking about relations between people of different cultures, religions and ethnicity. Today hundreds of thousands of migrants are trying to integrate into a different society without a profession and without any knowledge of the language, traditions and culture of the countries they are moving to. Meanwhile, the residents of those countries – and we should openly speak about this, without trying to polish things up – the residents are irritated by the dominance of strangers, rising crime rate, money spent on refugees from the budgets of their countries.

Many people sympathise with the refugees, of course, and would like to help them. The question is how to do it without infringing on the interests of the residents of the countries where the refugees are moving. Meanwhile, a massive uncontrolled shocking clash of different lifestyles can lead, and already is leading to growing nationalism and intolerance, to the emergence of a permanent conflict in society.

Colleagues, we must be realistic: military power is, of course, and will remain for a long time still an instrument of international politics. Good or bad, this is a fact of life. The question is, will it be used only when all other means have been exhausted? When we have to resist common threats, like, for instance, terrorism, and will it be used in compliance with the known rules laid down in international law. Or will we use force on any pretext, even just to remind the world who is boss here, without giving a thought about the legitimacy of the use of force and its consequences, without solving problems, but only multiplying them.

We see what is happening in the Middle East. For decades, maybe even centuries, inter-ethnic, religious and political conflicts and acute social issues have been accumulating here. In a word, a storm was brewing there, while attempts to forcefully rearrange the region became the match that lead to a real blast, to the destruction of statehood, an outbreak of terrorism and, finally, to growing global risks.

A terrorist organisation, the so-called Islamic State, took huge territories under control. Just think about it: if they occupied Damascus or Baghdad, the terrorist gangs could achieve the status of a practically official power, they would create a stronghold for global expansion. Is anyone considering this? It is time the entire international community realised what we are dealing with – it is, in fact, an enemy of civilisation and world culture that is bringing with it an ideology of hatred and barbarity, trampling upon morals and world religious values, including those of Islam, thereby compromising it.

We do not need wordplay here; we should not break down the terrorists into moderate and immoderate ones. It would be good to know the difference. Probably, in the opinion of certain experts, it is that the so-called moderate militants behead people in limited numbers or in some delicate fashion.

In actual fact, we now see a real mix of terrorist groups. True, at times militants from the Islamic State, Jabhat al-Nusra and other Al-Qaeda heirs and splinters fight each other, but they fight for money, for feeding grounds, this is what they are fighting for. They are not fighting for ideological reasons, while their essence and methods remain the same: terror, murder, turning people into a timid, frightened, obedient mass.

In the past years the situation has been deteriorating, the terrorists’ infrastructure has been growing, along with their numbers, while the weapons provided to the so-called moderate opposition eventually ended up in the hands of terrorist organisations. Moreover, sometimes entire bands would go over to their side, marching in with flying colours, as they say.

Why is it that the efforts of, say, our American partners and their allies in their struggle against the Islamic State has not produced any tangible results? Obviously, this is not about any lack of military equipment or potential. Clearly, the United States has a huge potential, the biggest military potential in the world, only double crossing [translation on video: a double gameis never easy. You declare war on terrorists and simultaneously try to use some of them to arrange the figures on the Middle East board in your own interests, as you may think.

It is impossible to combat terrorism in general if some terrorists are used as a battering ram to overthrow the regimes that are not to one’s liking. You cannot get rid of those terrorists, it is only an illusion to think you can get rid of them later, take power away from them or reach some agreement with them. The situation in Libya is the best example here.

Let us hope that the new government will manage to stabilise the situation, though this is not a fact yet. However, we need to assist in this stabilisation.

To be continued.

http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/50548

Summary and excerpts of Vladimir Putin’s speech at Valdai Club, October 22, 2015

From Sputnik, 10-22-15

The 12th annual meeting of the club, titled “Societies Between War and Peace: Overcoming the Logic of Conflict in Tomorrow’s World” takes place of October 19-22 in the southern Russia’s city of Sochi.

While speaking at Thursday’s session, Russian President Vladimir Putin addressed a number of international issues.

Nuclear weapons

“The advent of nuclear weapons has made it clear that there can be no winners in a global conflict. There could be only one outcome — guaranteed mutual destruction,” Putin said during the annual Valdai International Discussion Club session.

“It turned out that the mankind, in an attempt to create more destructive weapons, has made ​​a big war meaningless. By the way, the generation of world leaders of the 50-60-70’s and even 80’s really considered the use of military force to be an exceptional measure,” the president added.

However, the restraining effect of nuclear weapons has been devalued in today’s world, he stressed.”Some may even have gained an illusion that in case of a world conflict, one side may emerge victorious without irreversible, unacceptable, as experts say, consequences for the winner,” Putin said.

Russia’s leader stressed that the dialogue on Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty should be continued, but the United States’ withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty has made it difficult.

“Regarding the talks on strategic arms reduction, the dialogue must be continued. However, the unilateral withdrawal of the United States from the treaty, which is the cornerstone in terms of the balance of forces of international security, from the ABM Treaty, has put the entire system in a very, very difficult situation,” Putin said.

Iranian Nuclear Deal

“Today the Iranian nuclear problem has been solved. As we have said, Iran poses no threat and has never posed any,” Vladimir Putin said.

The fundamental basis of the modern international security — the ABM Treaty — has been destroyed under the pretext of the nuclear missile threat from Iran, Putin told reporters.

“The reason, which has apparently urged our US partners to create a missile defense system, has disappeared,” he added.Iran’s alleged threat was an attempt to mislead the world and tip the balance of world powers, Russia’s President stated. [He said the system is aimed at Russia. He talked about the installation in Romania and construction of one in Poland that both threaten Russia]

It’s extremely dangerous to impose one’s will on geopolitical rivals and allies with Iran being an apt example, Putin stressed.

International relations

While discussing political, military and economic competition in the world, the Russian president stressed they must be in line with moral norms and rules.

“It is crucial that this competition must be within the framework of certain political, legal, moral norms and rules. Otherwise the collision of interests is fraught with deep crises and dramatic failures,” Putin said.

“The global information space is being shaken by the wars today, so to speak. The only correct view and interpretation of events is aggressively being imposed, certain facts are being falsified or ignored. We have all become accustomed to labeling and creation of an image of the enemy,” Putin said the session of the annual Valdai International Discussion Club.

Russia and NATO

Russia is not concerned about the promotion of “democracy” near its borders, but by NATO’s military buildup near them, Vladimir Putin said. [This was in response to provocative comments by the moderator]

“All this, in my opinion, causes our legitimate concern and, of course, we need to work on this. We are prepared, in spite of all the difficulties; ready [to work] on the same acute issue of the missile defense system beginning with today,” Putin noted.

According to him, [it is] not “democratic values” approaching Russia’s frontiers [that] worry Moscow, but the Alliance’s military infrastructure’s advance.

Russia, following the example of Washington toward Moscow could speak of the need to democratize the United States….

“Is it possible to imagine that we would introduce an aim of the US democratization in our domestic law? It is at least impolite,” he elaborated.

According to him, it is difficult to agree with claims that the United States is not seeking to change Russia’s political system if the US legislation has a direct reference to a stated goal of democratizing our country. [Putin also referenced funding of organizations for this purpose.].

Military Force as Tool of International Politics

Military force remains and will continue to be a tool of international politics, Vladimir Putin noted.

“Military force, of course, remains and will undoubtedly continue to be a tool of international politics for a long time,” he said.

The Russian leader added that the question remained whether the force will be used “only when all other means are exhausted, when it is necessary to withstand common threats.”

Sanctions

“The United States is using bogus excuses, punishing severely everyone who dared to violate US unilateral sanctions. You know, this is probably not Russia’s business but as we are taking part in a discussion club, then I will ask you a question: Is it the way to treat allies? No this is the way to punish vassals that dared to act on their own, they are punished for bad behavior,” Putin said.

He added that European companies are suffering from such measures

Ukrainian Crisis

According to Vladimir Putin, the current situation in Ukraine is dangerous for Russia but it was not Moscow who created this crisis.

“It certainly poses threat to us, but was it us who created this situation? Russia’s position is that we… we accept any choice [of Ukrainian people] but we are against this kind of power change, it is bad for any country in the world and for a former Soviet state it is totally unacceptable,” Putin said at the Valdai International Discussion Club.

[Putin specifically called this power change a coup d’état].

Europe’s Migrant Crisis

Uncontrolled migration processes lead to the rise in nationalism and intolerance, permanent conflicts in the society, Russian President noted.

“A shocking, mass, uncontrolled collision of lifestyles may lead to the rise in nationalism and intolerance, emergence of a permanent in the society,” Putin said.

Economic Blocs

Non-transparent economic blocs economic blocs operating in secrecy lay grounds for future conflicts, Vladimir Putin stressed.

“Establishment of economic blocs by means of imposing conditions, will undoubtedly fail to make the world safer and will only plant time bombs in the soil for future conflicts,” Putin said at the Valdai International Discussion Club.

He added that it was necessary to “search for ways out and compromises, as only compromises can create a long-term system of relations in any sphere, including economy.”

The ISIL threat

The capture of Iraq’s capital Baghdad or Syria’s capital Damascus would give the Islamic State group a springboard for global expansion, Vladimir Putin said.

“Just think about it, in case of the capture of Damascus or Baghdad, the terrorists would practically gain the status of an official authority,” he elaborated.

“The international community should realize who we’re dealing with. An enemy, in fact, of civilization, humanity and world culture,” Putin added.

A clear distinction is needed between Islam and lies and hatred that terrorists spread under the guise of religion, he added.

“We need to clearly draw the line between lies and hatred spread by the militants under the guise of Islam and true Islam, with its values ​​of peace, family, good deeds, helping neighbors and respect for traditions,” Putin said.

Russia’s President stressed that Iraq and Syria must be freed from terrorists, these groups cannot be allowed to expand to other regions.

“What we think needs to be done to support the long-term settlement in the region is social, economic, and political revival. And ensuring, above all, that Syria and Iraq are freed from terrorists, and that these are prevented from moving their activity to other regions,” Putin said at the Valdai International Discussion Club.

In order to achieve this, all forces, including the two countries’ government armies, as well as Kurdish militia and various opposition groups, must unite in the fight against terrorism, the president said.

Syrian Crisis

Turning to the issue of Syrian settlement, Putin stated that it is “clear that a military victory will not itself solve all problems, but it will create conditions for the main thing: the start of a political process.”

Russia’s President noted that Washington’s goal in Syria is to overthrow the country’s president Bashar Assad, while Russia aims to help Damascus in its fight against terrorism.

“The US goal is to get rid of Assad. Probably so. Our goal is to defeat terrorism, fight terror, help President Assad defeat terror, thus creating conditions for the start, and, I hope, successful conclusion of the political settlement process. I believe this is the only right way,” Putin said at the Valdai International Discussion Club.

The president noted that Syria is in need of large-scale financial and humanitarian aid to “heal the wounds of war,” calling to begin work on creating roadmaps for the revival of the region and its infrastructure.

“Now it is necessary not to undermine, but to revive and strengthen public institutions in conflict zones,” Russia’s leader said.

Russia’s leader urged to separate terror threat from internal political problems in Syria.

“Of course, we believe that the Syrian conflict is not only about fight against terrorists and terror aggression, even though this terror aggression is evident and terrorists just want to take advantage of problems inside Syria. And one should separate terror threat from internal political problems,” he said.

“The Syrian leadership must establish a working contact with those opposition forces that are ready for this dialogue. And as I understood from my meeting with President [Bashar] Assad, he is ready for this dialogue,” Putin added.

Russia in Syria

Russia’s operation in Syria is carried out in accordance with international law, Vladimir Putin said, expressing hope that the airstrikes will have a positive impact and help create conditions for political settlement.

“After a request for support by Syria’s official authorities, we made a decision to begin a military operation in this country. Once again I underline: it is completely legitimate. It’s sole purpose is to promote peace,” he said.

The president added that he hopes Russian airstrikes will have “a positive impact on the situation” and help Damascus “create conditions for further action in regard to political settlement.”

Russia is being criticized for conducting airstrikes in Syria, but these critics never say which targets we must and must not hit, Russia’s leader said.

“We are being criticized for allegedly hitting wrong targets. Tell us which targets are correct, if you know. But they keep silence. Tell us which targets we must not hit — they also refuse to,” Putin said at the Valdai International Discussion Club.

Coordination of Anti-ISIL Operations

According to Russia’s President, Moscow and the West may soon begin exchanging information on the exact locations and movement of militants as part of an anti-terrorist operation in Syria.

“We see that in the framework of the anti-terrorism operation, gradually, though not as fast or actively as we would like, contacts are improving between defense departments,” Putin said.

Putin also stressed the importance of the Russian-US deal on flight safety in Syria, which was recently signed by the two countries.

“We are also close to beginning exchange of information with our Western colleagues on the positions and movements of militants,” he added.

The Valdai Club, established in 2004, aims to promote dialogue between the Russian and the international intellectual elite, and to foster independent, unbiased scientific analysis of political, economic and social events in Russia and the rest of the world.

http://sputniknews.com/politics/20151022/1028914471/putin-valdai-club-speech.html

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