Vladimir Putin took the floor at a plenary session of the International Discussion Club Valdai in Sochi on Thursday. The event was attended by Russian and foreign experts in the field of international relations.
The topic of the plenary session of the 15th anniversary meeting of the club was The World We Will Live In: Stability and Development in the 21st Century. Putin’s speeches at Valdai are usually indicative of major directions of Russian foreign policy in the near future.
In the event of a nuclear attack on Russia, aggressor will ‘drop dead’, Putin promised. According to him, Russia will never launch to a pre-emptive nuclear strike, but it will only repel aggression.
“The aggressor must know that we will go to Heaven as martyrs, and they will simply peg out not having any chance to repent before God,” he stressed.
After this emotional answer, the host asked Putin whether he had no fear because the president of Russia was ‘one of the three men who bear responsibility for the world. Putin replied in the negative and explained that fear was nothing but the flip side of a natural instinct of self-preservation.
“If one took up some work, they should realize what it is associated with,” Putin said.
Vladimir Putin admitted that the relations with the US leader were not always good. However, according to him, Donald Trump wants to stabilize relations with Russia. Putin stressed that he had managed to build a professional dialogue with the US president. Trump does give ear to the arguments of the counterpart, Putin said.
“Sometimes he does not agree, or I do not agree… It is ok, Discussion is a friend of partners.”
When asked about the conflict in the east of Ukraine, Vladimir Putin accused Kyiv of pursuing ‘anti-state’ policy.
“Their policy is anti-state, former Georgian authorities acted in a similar way. I hope that this will not happen in the future. Now Kyiv is selling Russophobia; apart from it, they have nothing. The West remains blind to many things going on there. Therefore, we should wait for the next elections and build new relations with new authorities,” he summed up.
According to Putin, the tragedy in Kerch was the result of globalization as well as the lack of proper web materials for young people.
“Mentally unstable young people make their own fake heroes and idols. This means that we do not create interesting and useful content. This leads to tragedy,” Putin said.
In his opinion, all attempts to question the territorial belonging of Crimea end in deadlock.
“What is a test for democracy? Referendums, elections and so on. People of Crimea came and voted in the referendum. Let me remind you, there was no referendum in Kosovo. The parliament voted for independence, and that’s all,” Putin said.