© Kremlin

President Vladimir Putin delivered a lengthy speech at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, Russia’s Far East. Among other things, he commented on the unfolding crisis in the world economy, which he attributed to the short-sightedness of Western elites. According to Putin, they are trying to cling to world power while it is slipping out of their handsRT writes.

Following are some of the key points Putin made in his speech.

Western dominance is waning

The world faces serious economic challenges, and unlike the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, the current turmoil is the result of conscious decisions by Western nations, Putin said. The West has caught the “sanction fever” when it sought to impose its will on other nations.

According to the president, while this is nothing new, the current situation is distinguished by special circumstances – the US is losing its dominance in the global economy and politics, a “tectonic shift” that Western elites are unwilling to recognize.

Elites are “provoking”

“The Western nations want to maintain the old world order, from which only they benefit, to have everyone follow the ‘rules’ that they have invented and which they regularly break or change in their favor,” Putin said.

Resistance from other nations is “leading Western elites to ‘taunt’ and make short-sighted rash decisions that affect the world’s security, politics and economy ,” he added.

Western leaders are “detached” from their people

The policies of US leaders and their allies run counter to the interests of the people they are supposed to protect — showing that Western elites are “detached from their own people,” Putin said.

EU governments are a good example – they have decided to decouple their economies from Russia, denying their companies affordable energy and access to the Russian market, making them unable to compete, he said.

Putin predicted that US companies will take the lead to capture the market shares of EU-based companies as a result. “When [the Americans] pursue their interests, they don’t limit themselves and stop at nothing.”

The West is cheating poor nations

The global economic crisis will hit vulnerable nations worst, the president said — for many it is a life and death situation as impoverished countries will no longer be able to buy critical products.

Meanwhile, Western nations pretend to help, while doing only what is in their best interests, as Putin says in the grain export deal with Ukraine. Russia agreed to help ships loaded with grain leave Ukrainian ports under a settlement brokered by Turkey and the UN in July. However, most of the ships have gone to EU countries rather than struggling countries, the president said.

“Only two of the 87 ships were loaded [in Ukraine] under the UN Food Programme, which works to provide aid to countries in need… only 3% were sent to developing countries.”

According to Putin, the Western nations have decades and even centuries of experience of looting colonies, and they take the same approach today. In order to avoid humanitarian disasters, Russia is proposing to change the destinations for Ukrainian grain to change the situation.

Russia passes the sanctions

Russia is handling the damage of the West’s “economic, financial and technological aggression” relatively well, Putin said. He noted that the country’s financial system has stabilized, inflation is falling, and unemployment is at a record low.

Indeed, some companies have been hurt, especially those whose affairs somehow depend on Europe, he said. The Russian government has mechanisms in place to support them.

Asian nations want cooperation

Most countries in the Asia-Pacific region (APAC) reject “the destructive logic of sanctions” and want to promote trade relations and economic growth for the benefit of their populations, Putin said. Russia values ​​players who share its stance on national sovereignty. The abundance of such countries in APAC is “its great competitive advantage” and a source of long-term development.

Russia did not start the conflict in Ukraine

When asked by the host for comment on how the crisis in Ukraine has affected Russia, he reiterated Moscow’s stance that the conflict has been forced on the country.

“We have not started anything in terms of military action. We’re trying to end it. The military action started in 2014, following an armed coup in Ukraine by those who did not want normal development and wanted to subjugate their own people, carrying out one military action after another, and committed genocide to the citizens of Donbass for eight years, to submit.”

Russia decided eight years later to use military force. That was a moral obligation to the people of Donbass, whom Moscow could not protect by peaceful means, Putin said. Ultimately, Russia will emerge stronger from the conflict, both domestically and internationally, he added.