Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses the 20th Annual Meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club in Sochi, Russia, October 5, 2023. Photo/Sputnik/Grigory Sysoyev/REUTERS
MOSCOW – Russian President Vladimir Putin emphasized that the conflict with Ukraine was not driven by territorial ambitions. Putin made this statement in his speech at the Valdai International Discussion Club on Thursday (5/10/2023).
Putin stressed that Russia is already the largest country in the world and therefore is not motivated to seek new land.
He noted Russia still has a lot of work to do in developing remote regions in Siberia and the Far East.
“This is not a territorial conflict and not even the establishment of a regional geopolitical balance,” stressed the Russian President.
He explained, “This question is much broader and more basic. We are talking about the principles of a new world order.”
The Russian leader emphasized, “Lasting peace can only be realized when everyone feels safe and knows that their opinions are respected.”
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In another part of his speech, Putin said Russia was not the party that initiated the conflict in Ukraine, but was instead trying to end it.
“It was not us who organized the bloody coup in Kiev; It was not us who intimidated the people of Crimea and Sevastopol with Nazi-style ethnic cleansing. It is not us who are trying to force Donbass to comply using shelling and bombing. “It is not us who threaten violence against those who want to speak their native language,” Putin said.
He emphasized that it was Kiev that used tanks and artillery to fight against Donbass.