‘Non-interference principle must be fit into European realities’
Western interference in Ukraine led to catastrophic consequences for the country, Putin said, suggesting measures to prevent the repetition of a similar scenario in other countries on the continent.
“The task is to fit the traditional principle of non-interference into modern European realities, initiating a serious international discussion of the issue. We all need some kind of a safety net in Europe, so that the Iraqi, Libyan, Syrian and Ukrainian precedents won’t turn into a contagious disease.”
‘Blackmail wrong tool in international relations’
President Putin criticized Washington, which already imposed sanctions on Moscow after the accession of the Republic of Crimea into Russia, for making efforts to scuttle Russia’s 1.12 billion euro deal on Mistral warships with France.
“We know about the pressure that our American partners put on France to prevent the supply of Mistral [warships] to Russia. And we know that they hinted that if the French won’t supply Mistral [warships] then sanctions against their banks will be removed or, at least, minimized. What is this, if not blackmail?”
However, he once against stressed the importance of close cooperation between Moscow and Washington.
“We have absolutely no plans to shut down our relations with the US. It’s true that our bilateral relations aren’t in the best of shape now. But it’s not our fault, not Russia's fault.”
West should stop turning world into ‘global barracks’
Putin said it was high time for the US and Western Europe to give up their political ambitions and start building mutually beneficial relations with the rest of the world.
‘Ukrainian president fully responsible for violence’
A significant part of Putin’s speech was dedicated to the events in crisis-hit Ukraine, where President Petro Poroshenko decided to not prolong the ceasefire with the rebellious Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics.
“So far, Petro Poroshenko had no direct relation to the orders to take military action. Now he has taken on this responsibility in full. Not only military, but also political, which is more important.”
Putin repeated that Russia won’t interfere into Ukraine, but stressed Moscow’s readiness to help those fleeing the battlefield.
“Everything that happens in Ukraine is, of course, the internal affair of the Ukrainian state, but we feel painfully sorry that the people, the civilians, are dying. You know that there are a growing number of refugees arriving in the Russian Federation and we’ll certainly assist all those in need.”
‘We mustn’t sacrifice our vital interests just to be allowed to sit next to someone’
Russia has no interest in participating in formats for international relations where it’s only allowed “to play the role of an observer, with no final say on key issues,” Putin said.
With Gazprom cutting off gas supplies to Ukraine, Putin warned Kiev that Moscow is aware of its illegal attempts to obtain Russian gas.
“Well, [the Ukrainians] have been scheming with some of their partners. They, actually, get our gas, but pay to some European partner, which doesn’t receive its gas supply in full. We see everything. But, for now, we aren’t taking any actions in order to avoid aggravating the situation.”
‘Russia-China relations an example to others’
Putin also praised Russia’s ties with China, which have improved as a result of the West’s restrictive policies toward Moscow.
“It’s crucial that the Russian-Chinese friendship isn’t directed against anybody whatsoever. We don’t create any military alliances. On the contrary, it’s an example of equal, respectful and productive cooperation between the two states in the 21st century.”