From phantom entities to real values: Putin addresses SPIEF plenary session

Photo: Sergei Bobylev/TASS. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

ST. PETERSBURG, June 17, 2022, TASS. Russia is entering an era of tectonic changes as a powerful and sovereign country and will definitely take advantage of the opportunities that are opening, President Vladimir Putin said, addressing the plenary session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) on Friday. TASS has put together Putin’s key remarks.

On global crisis

The very principles of the global economy have been affected by the actions of Western countries: “Crucial business concepts such as business reputation, inviolability of property, confidence in global currencies have been seriously undermined. Unfortunately, they have been undermined by our Western partners.” The situation started to deteriorate a long time ago and it was not “the result of Russia’s special military operation in Donbass.”

The world has entered an era of “radical changes” and it’s not just about the economy: “International institutions are collapsing and security guarantees are being devalued. The West has emphatically refused to fulfill its earlier obligations. It has turned out to be simply impossible to reach any new agreements with it.”

On end of unipolar world

A world order based on the dogmas of unipolarity is unstable. The very concept is flawed that says there is only one, though very strong power “with a limited number of close confidants,” who interprets the rules of business and international relations in its own interests when the need arises.” “A world order based on such dogmas is definitely unstable.” Western elites are largely “clinging to ghosts of the past,” thinking that Western dominance is “an unchangeable and everlasting thing.” ” Nothing lasts forever.”

On future world order

A new world order is still emerging but it’s clear that its rules will be created by those “who aren’t moving along a path set out by others.” “Only strong and sovereign states can have a say in this emerging world order or they will have to become or remain colonies with no rights,” Putin noted.

“Russia is entering the new era as a powerful and sovereign country. We will make sure to take advantage of the new tremendous opportunities that this era is opening for us and will grow even stronger.”

On new global economy

Global reserves will be transferred from dollars and euros to real resources such as food and commodities: “Why exchange goods for dollars and euros that are losing their value? The implication is that the economy of phantom entities will be replaced by an economy of real values and assets.”

On principles of Russian economy

Openness and reliance on freedom of enterprise will be the key principles of the Russian economy, combined with a responsible and balanced macroeconomic policy. Moscow “will never take the path of self-isolation and autarchy.” “Each private initiative aimed at benefiting Russia should be provided with maximum support and scope for implementation.” Social justice will be the fourth principle, advanced infrastructure development will be the fifth and true technological sovereignty will be the sixth. “We need to build all areas of life on a completely new technological level.”

Decriminalizing economic offenses

“There is a need to adopt a careful but thorough approach to decriminalizing economic offenses, including those related to activities without licenses and accreditation.”

On industrial mortgage and discounted rates

Discounted mortgage rates will be reduced further from 9% to 7%, the program will remain in effect until the end of the year. A totally new tool, an industrial mortgage program at 5% per annum, will be launched in the near future for companies that plan to purchase pre-made production facilities.

On sanctions and their consequences

The West has imposed “insane and reckless” sanctions on Moscow but its “economic blitzkrieg <...> initially had no chance of success:” “We are normalizing the economic situation step by step. <...> Dire forecasts about the Russian economy’s prospects, which were made in the spring, failed to pan out.” In particular, the Russian authorities “suppressed an inflation outbreak” as inflation rates dropped from the peak level of 17.8% to 16.7% and continue to fall. Budget surplus was four times as high in May as last year. At the same time, sanctions on Russia have exacerbated problems in the countries that initiated them as the European Union’s direct calculable losses alone may exceed $400 bln in the coming year. “This is the price of decisions detached from reality and contradicting common sense.”

On future of European Union

“The European Union has completely lost its political sovereignty and its bureaucratic elites are dancing to someone else’s tune, accepting everything that their superiors tell them, harming their own population, their own economy and their own business.” The actions of European politicians only deepen inequality in their countries, while their detachment from reality will lead to a spike in populism, radicalism “and a rotation of elites in the near future.”

On Ukraine operation

“All goals of the special military operation will definitely be achieved, it is guaranteed by the courage and bravery of our troops and the unity of Russian society whose support is giving strength and confidence to Russia’s Army and Navy.” The problem of Ukrainian grain exports does not exist. “We aren’t creating any obstacles, for God’s sake! It wasn’t us who planted mines at Ukraine’s Black Sea ports. Let them clear the mines and then export [the grain], we will provide a safe passage for civilian ships.”

On investment in Russia

Big businesses should invest in their own country like entrepreneurs in the Russian Empire did: “Real lasting success, a sense of dignity and self-respect come only when you pin your own future and the future of your children on your country.”

On possible return to the past

“It’s wrong to think that one can, so to say, wait it out in a time of tumultuous change, that everything will be back to what it used to be and everything will be the same. It will not!”.

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