Vladimir Putin: There is a real race between countries in the world to strengthen their sovereignty

20:59 07.06.2024 •

Photo: Kremlin.ru

The 27th annual St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) is running from June 5 to 8 drawing over 17,000 participants from 130 countries throughout the globe.

On June 7, Russian President Vladimir Putin made a speech at the forum's plenary session, which is one of the key events.

The participants of the session discuss the global changes occurring in politics, the economic realm, and in international relations.

In addition to the Russian leader, Bolivian President Luis Arce and Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa also attend the event.

Key points of Russian President Vladimir Putin speech.

"We see a real race between countries to strengthen their sovereignty. And over three key levels - state, value-cultural and economic. At the same time, the countries that have recently been the leaders of global development are trying by all means, by hook or by crook, to preserve their elusive role of hegemony," Putin said.

"Russia has showed a high level of readiness and receptivity to technological change. We see change in our financial sector, e-commerce, transport and public administration system," he said.

"Russia has proven a high level of readiness and receptivity to technological change. We see how our financial sector, e-commerce, transport services, and public administration system have already changed. Similar processes are beginning to unfold in the armed forces, where we also need a high rate of technological renewal. This is the most important, defining issue for our country," Putin said.

According to the World Bank, Russia has become the fourth largest economy in the world in terms of purchasing power parity, surpassing Japan, Putin said. The second significant structural achievement is the improvement of the industry structure due to an enhanced supply-side policy. Specifically, in 2023, Russia's GDP growth was driven by 45.5 percent from basic, non-commodity sectors, the president noted.

"The point, of course, is not in the assessment systems and calculations of GDP, and not even in the formal entry into fourth place — we are somewhere nearby, Russia, Japan and Germany, we are ahead, but the difference is small. But we understand at the same time that leadership positions need to be constantly confirmed and strengthened. Other countries also do not stand still. It is important for us to ensure consistently high rates and quality of growth for the long term," Putin said.

By 2030, Russia aims to reduce its import share to 17%, a notable decrease from 19% in 2023, highlighting clear economic progress, Putin emphasized. He highlighted Russia's success in achieving self-sufficiency in meat production within the agro-industrial sector as a prime example of improvement.

Putin added that by 2030, Russia's capital investment is projected to increase by 60% from the 2020 levels, with consistent success and overachievement in recent years.

The head of state stated that investment activity should be supported with resources, specifically mentioning the active development of industrial mortgages.

Increasing banking insurance for technology sovereignty projects is another crucial task.

Private investors are actively contributing to the Russian economy through various funds, including the Direct Investment Fund. To support this activity, the capital market needs to be developed to enhance its capacity and attractiveness, with a focus on the safety and profitability of citizens' funds.

By the end of this decade, the market capitalization of the Russian stock market is expected to double and reach two-thirds of the GDP, Putin noted.

From January 1, 2025, Russia will introduce equity life insurance, which combines the principles of classic insurance and investment, with a proposed government insurance of these investments up to 2.8 million rubles.

Putin also mentioned improvements to the tax system, suggesting that investment deductions should become a popular tool in this area.

"Trust in the Western payment systems has been dealt a significant blow — by Western countries themselves. In this context, I can say that the share of so-called toxic currencies of unfriendly countries in payments made for Russian exports halved last year," Putin said.

"BRICS is working on the formation of an independent payment system that is not subject to political pressure, abuse and external bailout intervention," Putin said.

"If [in past] people used to say that Russia will enrich itself by Siberia, now we can say that Russia will also enrich itself by the Arctic, because we have the main mineral resources there," Putin said.

The president also mentioned that the centers of global economy are also moving — towards Asia, — and Russia "needs to be" closer to them.

Vladimir Putin stated that the United States has accrued a debt of $54.3 trillion to the global economy, a figure that he claims is not backed by any tangible assets.

The moderator noted that the old global economic system is now collapsing. This is both a positive and a negative development, as there are almost no new regulatory mechanisms in place and no master plan of action. Can Russia take the initiative in creating a new economic system by attracting "brains" from other countries?

President Putin emphasized that the foundation for the current Jamaican system, which is still in use, is trust in the American economy. Beyond this aspect, there are no other justifications for using this system. In turn, Washington takes advantage of this and actively exploits it.

The US economy is shrinking, and its fundamental basis is showing cracks. This includes not only the national debt but also an inability to control inflation. Consequently, this undermines trust in the US economy, posing a significant problem for all holders of "dollar mass," Putin emphasized.

Given this, the move towards multipolarity is entirely natural. In response, Russia, in partnership with BRICS countries, has established a new bank and developed its own currency tools. While Moscow plays a significant role in these efforts, everything must be done collaboratively, the president added.

Using the dollar's monopoly position, the US "consumes" a trillion dollars more than it produces, which is modern neocolonialism, Putin noted. Russia, on the other hand, realistically assesses its economic capabilities and does not adhere to the principles of neocolonialism.

Russia is not showcasing nuclear weapons, Vladimir Putin said. "We are not showcasing [nuclear weapons]."

The president also has not ruled out changes to Russia's nuclear doctrine.

Putin emphasized that Russia has never initiated rhetoric about the use of nuclear weapons. The country has a nuclear doctrine where everything is detailed, he added. The doctrine stipulates the use of nuclear weapons only in exceptional circumstances, particularly in the event of a threat to Russia's sovereignty. Currently, such conditions do not exist, the President stated. Nevertheless, changes to the nuclear doctrine are possible.

If nuclear strikes were to occur, both Russia and the US have highly developed early warning systems for such attacks. Swift escalation along the "nuclear ladder" would not reduce the number of casualties, President Putin emphasized.

He expressed confidence that the world will never reach the stage of nuclear missile strikes.

Vladimir Putin also stated that his decisions, as well as those of his colleagues, are not influenced by fluctuations. All decisions should be based on an analysis of the evolving situation, he noted.

Regarding arms supplies to friendly countries as a countermeasure to the West, Putin mentioned that Russia has not yet taken such steps. However, Moscow reserves the right to do so. He highlighted that Russia could reciprocate Western unfriendly actions in this area.

Putin remarked that the current contingent is insufficient for the swiftest resolution of issues, yet Russia adheres to a different, more restrained and precise approach, which does not require mobilization.

In 2024 alone, over 160,000 people signed contracts for military service, the President said. He asserted that the character of Russian citizens enables victory without the use of nuclear weapons.

Regarding Ukraine, Putin noted that forced mobilization in that country might, at best, only replenish recent losses, rather than increase troop numbers.

"The General Staff has a plan of action for Russia's special operation, and it will be successfully implemented," Putin stated. "Russia is gradually pushing the opponent out of the territory of Donbass, with 47 settlements and 880 square kilometers liberated," Putin added.

"We are not yet supplying weapons to those states or even to some structures that are experiencing certain pressure — including of a military nature — from those countries that are supplying weapons to Ukraine and urging them to use them against our Russian territory. If they are supplying the war zone and calling for these weapons to be used on our territory, then why don't we have the right to do the same," Putin said, adding that Russia reserves such right.

The Russian leader added that the country will not start supplying long-range weapons abroad "tomorrow."

Vladimir Putin emphasized that Russia began its pivot to the East well before the recent events in Ukraine. He highlighted that the combined GDP of BRICS nations now surpasses that of the G7 countries, and these trends are not just persisting but strengthening. "This is an inevitable course of events," noted the president.

Vladimir Putin concluded his remarks at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) by affirming Russia's commitment to being part of a harmonious multipolar world. He emphasized that while Russia will continue to draw on European cultural heritage, it will also respect the traditions of its diverse peoples, stating, "in this unity lies our strength."


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