Putin's Strategic Insights: Economic Forum Highlights

President Vladimir Putin addressed a variety of pressing topics during his meeting with international news editors at Russia's annual economic forum in St Petersburg. Key points included Western weapons supplies to Ukraine, the state of Russo-German relations, Ukrainian mobilization, and the use of nuclear weapons. He also discussed Russia's stance on U.S. relations, NATO, and future implications involving China.


Reuters | Updated: 06-06-2024 16:06 IST | Created: 06-06-2024 16:06 IST
Putin's Strategic Insights: Economic Forum Highlights
Vladimir Putin

President Vladimir Putin met with senior editors from international news agencies at Russia's flagship annual economic forum in St Petersburg on Wednesday.

Here are highlights from his answers to their questions. WESTERN WEAPONS SUPPLIES TO UKRAINE

"Supplying weapons to a conflict zone is always a bad thing. Especially if this is linked to the fact that those who supply them are not only delivering weapons, but managing them. This is a very serious and dangerous step. "When German tanks first appeared on Ukrainian soil, it already produced such a moral ethical shock in Russia, because relations towards (Germany) in Russian society had always been very good.

"Now, when they say that some more missiles will appear that will strike targets on Russian territory, this, of course, is ultimately destroying Russo-German relations." UKRAINIAN MOBILISATION

"They are grabbed on the streets, there are few who want to fight. That's why they recruited 30,000, well last month and the month before last around 50,000-55,000, according to our data. But this will not solve the problem. Do you know why? Because this whole mobilisation just covers losses. It all goes to make up for losses." LOSSES IN RUSSIA-UKRAINE WAR

"I can tell you with absolute certainty that our losses...are of course several times less than on the Ukrainian side." "It is this, by the way, that the attempt to carry out total mobilisation in Ukraine is linked with, because (their) battlefield losses are very high... According to our calculations, the Ukrainian army loses about 50,000 people a month."

STOPPING THE WAR "If you want to stop the hostilities in Ukraine, stop supplying weapons. And these hostilities will stop in two, three months maximum. We call on no one to interfere in a possible peace process."

USE OF HIGH-TECH, LONG-RANGE WESTERN MISSILES BY UKRAINE "Firstly, of course, we will improve our air defence systems and destroy them. Secondly, we are thinking that if someone thinks it is possible to supply such weapons to a war zone in order to strike at our territory and create problems for us, then why do we not have the right to send our weapons of the same class to those regions of the world where there will be strikes on sensitive facilities of those countries that are doing this to Russia? So the response could be symmetrical. We will think about this...

"If we see that these countries are being drawn into a war against us, and this is their direct participation in a war against the Russian Federation, then we reserve the right to act in a similar way. But, in general, this is a path to very serious problems." NUCLEAR WEAPONS

"They keep trying to accuse us of waving some kind of nuclear baton. But did I raise the possibility of using nuclear weapons? It was you who did that. You bring me out on this topic and then say that I am waving a nuclear baton." "For some reason, the West believes that Russia will never use (nuclear weapons). We have a nuclear doctrine, look at what it says. If someone's actions threaten our sovereignty and territorial integrity, we consider it possible for us to use all means at our disposal. This cannot be taken lightly, superficially. It must be handled professionally. I hope that everyone in the world will treat solving issues of this kind in this way."

CONFLICT WITH NATO? "Don't form an image of Russia as an enemy. You are only hurting yourselves with this, do you understand? You have made up that Russia wants to attack NATO. Have you completely lost your mind? Are you as thick as this table? Who made that up? It's rubbish, you know? It's absolute nonsense."

RUSSIA-U.S. RELATIONS "For the most part, we do not care (who wins the U.S. election)."

"To say - I am speaking quite sincerely - that we believe that after the elections something will change towards Russia in American policy, I would not say so. We don't think so. We think that nothing really serious will happen." "For us, we do not think the end result holds much significance. We will work with any president the American people elect."

IMPACT ON UKRAINE SHOULD FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP BE ELECTED "It's hard to say, I can't make a definite conclusion as to whether something will change or not. One has to look at the priorities of the future administration."

"No one in the United States is interested in Ukraine, they are interested in the greatness of the United States, which is fighting not for Ukraine and the Ukrainian people, but for its own greatness." "But if the future administration will change its goal-setting vector, and will see the meaning of its existence, its work in strengthening the United States from within, strengthening the economy, finances, building good relations in the world...then something may change."

TRUMP TRIAL "They are burning themselves from the inside, their state, their political system ... It is obvious all over the world that the prosecution of Trump, especially in court on charges that were formed on the basis of events that happened years ago, without direct proof, is simply using the judicial system in an internal political struggle."

CHINA "The Chinese economy is very reliable and is becoming more and more high-tech. It is a big mistake on the part of the United States and some European countries, who are trying to somehow slow down the Chinese economy. Because, in my view, in order to be successful, we should be integrated into these processes, not try to hinder them."

"We are conducting exercises (with China) and will do so in the future, including military exercises. We are working in the military-technical cooperation sphere." DETAINED U.S JOURNALIST EVAN GERSHKOVICH

"I know that the United States administration is indeed taking vigorous steps for his release. This is true. But such issues are not resolved through the media. They love a quiet, peaceful, professional approach and dialogue between intelligence agencies. Of course, they should only be resolved on the basis of reciprocity. The relevant U.S. and Russian agencies are in contact with each other on this issue."

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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