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Saturday, October 25, 2014

US trying to remake the whole world, says Putin

President Putin would like the US and its allies to stop trying to remake the whole world to the way they think is right, and to show some respect to other countries by leaving them alone to run their own show.

He said the US is "trying to remake the whole world" based on its own interests.  They had no business interfering in Libya, Syria or Iraq and instead of their interventions bringing about peace and democracy, it had the opposite effect.

He also blames the west for the Ukrainian crisis.  "We did not start this" he told a group of political scholars (including some westerners who hate him) known as the Valdai Club in a resort above the Black Sea city of Sochi.

"Statements that Russia is trying to reinstate some sort of empire, that it is encroaching on the sovereignty of its neighbours is groundless" he said.

Once again, he accused western governments of helping pro-western groups start a coup d'etat that ousted the pro-Russian President in February.  "No one wanted to listen to us and no one wanted to talk to us" he said.  

And he admitted helping former president Victor Yanukovych to flee Russia. "I will say it openly, he asked to be driven away to Russia, which we did."

"They (Ukraine) pushed the country into chaos, economic and social collapse and civil war with huge losses" he said.

But what about the sanctions?  He said the west has made a big mistake. "Russia will not be posturing, get offended, ask someone for anything, Russia is self sufficient."

And the economy?  He said that Russia would not burn through its gold and foreign currency reserves thoughtlessly to prop up the economy.

He still denies Russia has any military presence in Ukraine or that it supplies pro-Russian rebels there with weapons.  Kiev and the rebels agreed to a ceasefire on September 5 but it is being breached every day and the standoff continues.

Earlier this month the Russian President said he ordered 180,000 troops to withdraw from the border as a sign of goodwill but Kiev says he has to convince the rebels to abide by the ceasefire and withdraw those troops still inside eastern Ukraine and on the border.

At least 824,000 people have been driven from their homes in Ukraine and winter is coming.  About 95 per cent of those are from eastern Ukraine and are in urgent need of humanitarian aid.

Add to that figure 387,000 who have fled to Russia, 6,600 have applied for asylum in the European Union and 581 in Belarus.