Vladimir Putin in His Own Words

There is no doubt that the interview Russian President Vladimir Putin gave to Tucker Carlson, released on Feb. 9, was a major international success, at least in terms of the size of the audience. In the first three days of its posting, more than 200 million views were recorded on various platforms. A fair assessment of its success was provided by Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, who said, “The most important thing for us is to make our president heard. If he is heard, then more people will wonder whether he is right or not. At least they will think.”

We agree with the importance of listening to and taking into account what world leaders are saying. And of not relying on the narratives put out by the anything-but-independent mainstream media. In that spirit, we present a few highlights from Vladimir Putin’s interview.

Negotiations with the West. The Russian President insisted several times that Russia emphatically wants to work with the West and the United States, and has repeatedly attempted to do so, yet met with an unexplained resistance from within the circles of power. Nonetheless, he said, he has never closed the door to a future relationship. Although at one point, asked about an interlocutor in Washington, he commented: “Who’s there to talk to? I just don’t understand. We’re ready to talk, but with whom?”

As for Ukraine, Russia is ready for negotiations, he stressed. But, “if the Zelensky administration in Ukraine refused to negotiate, I assume that they did it under the instruction from Washington. If Washington believes it to be the wrong decision, let it abandon it, let it find a delicate excuse so that no one is insulted, let it come up with a way out.”

At another point, the same subject came up; “the President of Ukraine issued a decree prohibiting negotiations with us. Let him cancel that decree and that’s it. We have never refused negotiations indeed. We hear all the time: is Russia ready? Yes, we have not refused! It was them who publicly refused. Well, let him cancel his decree and enter into negotiations.”

Europe: The Russian President was also asked why he thinks Germany accepts the destruction of its economy through high energy prices, and does not react to the sabotage of Nord Stream, to which he replied: “But today’s German leadership is guided by the interests of the collective West rather than its national interests, otherwise it is difficult to explain the logic of their action or inaction. After all, it is not only about Nord Stream-1, which was blown up, and Nord Stream-2 was damaged, but one pipe is safe and sound, and gas can be supplied to Europe through it, but Germany does not open it. We are ready, please.” In addition, he pointed out, Berlin could pressure Poland to re-open the Yamal-Europe route, and/or Ukraine to do the same for the gas routes, in exchange for all the weapons and money Germany provides them. “Those are highly incompetent people”, he added.

As to why Russia has not blamed NATO more directly for the sabotage of Nord Stream 2, Putin pointed out that “in the war of propaganda it is very difficult to defeat the United States because the United States controls all the world’s media and many European media. The ultimate beneficiary of the biggest European media are American financial institutions. Don’t you know that?”

China and the BRICS. Is Vladimir Putin worried that the BRICS could become “completely dominated by the Chinese economy”, Tucker Carlson wanted to know. This is a “bogeyman story”, he replied. “We are neighbours with China. You cannot choose neighbours, just as you cannot choose close relatives. We share a border of several thousand kilometres with them. This is number one. Second, we have a centuries-long history of coexistence, we are used to it. Third, China’s foreign policy philosophy is not aggressive, its idea is to always look for compromise, and we can see that.”

Already, the goal of mutual trade between China and Russia has been exceeded, he said. And “one more important thing: our trade is well-balanced, mutually complementary in high-tech, energy, scientific research and development. It is very balanced.”

As for BRICS, they are “developing very rapidly”. In 1992, “the share of the G7 countries in the world economy amounted to 47%, whereas in 2022 it was down to, I think, a little over 30%. The BRICS countries accounted for only 16 percent in 1992, but now their share is greater than that of the G7. It has nothing to do with the events in Ukraine. This is due to the trends of global development and world economy that I mentioned just now, and this is inevitable. This will keep happening, it is like the rise of the sun — you cannot prevent the sun from rising, you have to adapt to it.” 

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