The World Order - New rules, or no rules?

11th Session of the Valdai Discussion Club - 22-24 October 2014

[00:17]

Ladies and gentlemen, respected colleagues and friends, I’m happy to welcome you all to the 11th session of the Valdai Discussion Club.

[00:30]

This year the club has new organizers, including those from Russia’s non-political civil society and leading universities. We have added to today’s discussion questions surrounding Russian issues, and the way in which they relate to global politics.

[00:52]

My hope is that these developments in the organisational structure of the club will turn it into a leading global forum for the expert discussion of these issues.

[01:05]

I also hope that, the ‘spirit of Valdai’ will feature prominently in our discussions, where openness and frankness in the consideration of different ideas is paramount.

[01:24]

With this understanding in mind, I hope I will not disappoint you either. I will speak frankly and openly.

[01:33]

Some things may appear brutally honest, but if I am not completely straight forward with you in how I feel then there is little point in all of us assembling here today.

[01:48]

For those types of discussions there are diplomatic talks; where no one says anything genuine.

[01:54]

In the words that I recall of a famous diplomat : a diplomat’s tongue is for the purpose of concealing the truth.

[02:04]

This kind of discussion club is for a different purpose. We want to communicate with frankness.

[02:12]

Straight forwardness and sometimes harshness is not for the purpose of attacking one another, but to try and understand the gravity of the situation;

why is our world becoming less and less safe to live in?

Why is our world so unpredictably dangerous? and

Why are those threats multiplying?

[02:31]

The theme of our discussion today: “World Order - New Rules or No Rules?”

[02:40]

In my view this choice of theme captures perfectly the historical crossroads that we are in today. The choice between no rules and new rules is ours.

[02:53]

The idea surrounding the quickly changing nature of our current world is not new, and I know you’ve already mentioned it many times in your sessions.

[03:00]

It would be difficult not to notice some of the transformations taking place in global politics and economy, civil life, productivity, and information technology.

[03:15]

I do apologize if I repeat some of the things the panel members have said; this is impossible to avoid given the detailed discussions you have already had.

[03:27]

I will voice my point of view and it may or may not repeat the points you have already covered.

[03:37]

Firstly, let’s not forget any historical lessons that we must carry forward in our discussion.

[03:45]

Traditionally, a changing world order, especially on the scale that we are seeing today, was always accomplished by either a global military confrontation, or a string of localised but intensive wars.

[04:01]

And secondly, that global politics consists of economic leadership, issues surrounding war and peace, humanitarian issues, as well as human rights.

[04:12]

The world today is experiencing a multitude of contradictions, where we must ask ourselves honestly - “Do we have a reliable safety net?”

[04:24]

Unfortunately, there is no assurance that the current system of global and regional security is stable enough to keep us safe from serious cataclysms.

[04:35]

The system is weak, it is fragmented and it is deformed.

[04:40]

International as well as regional political and economic institutions are going through equally trying times.

[04:48]

The mechanisms that govern the world order formed reasonably long ago, those which came to be after the Second World War.

[04:59]

It was built not only on the balance of power that existed at the time; its founding fathers had formed it based on respect for the entire international community, and not just for the victors of the War.

[05:15]

It was not based on zero-sum logic, but on cooperation.

[05:21]

This system was maturing. And despite all of its shortcomings, it helped to regulate the brutish, natural competitive nature of states.

[05:36]

The mechanism managed to regulate even the heavyweights on its not so easy, almost torturous journey. It should never have been disempowered.

[05:49]

You cannot disempower an institution when you have nothing new to put in its place.

[05:56]

The only tool it leaves us with is the old “might is right” mentality.

[06:00]

What we should have done was undertake a deliberate reconstruction.

[06:04]

Adapt to the new realities of international relations.

[06:06]

Unfortunately, the United States, declaring themselves to be the victors of the Cold War, seemed to assure themselves that there is simply no need for such reconstruction.

[06:17]

Instead of a new balance of power, upon which the international security system relies, steps were taken that eventuated in a sudden disbalance of power.

[06:29]

The Cold War came to an end.

[06:32]

But it did not bring with it the beginning of peace.

[06:36]

It did not bring with it a discussion surrounding the existing world order, nor the need to develop a new set of rules.

[06:43]

We got the impression that the victors of the Cold War decided to ‘finish off’ the situation that they found themselves in.

[06:52]

To re-sew the world exactly how they saw fit, toward their own interests.

[06:58]

Where the existing system of the world order and the checks and balances of international law got in the way of their plans, it was immediately branded “outdated”, “incompetent”, and in need of immediate destruction.

[07:14]

Such behaviour is what we attribute to the “nouveau riche”; to people who unexpectedly acquire wealth, in this sense hegemony of the world, the leadership of our planet.

[07:23]

Instead of using such power articulately; even if they were to favour themselves somewhat, I consider their actions to be a missed opportunity.

[07:34]

We were ushered into an era of contradictions and silencing in world politics.

[07:39]

Under such pressure, the concepts of international law gave in, in one situation after another.

[07:46]

Objectivity and justice became victims of political aims.

[07:52]

Jurisprudential norms became entirely arbitrary. Meanwhile, the total control over the world’s media allowed one to sell black for white and white for black.

[08:08]

The domination by one country and its allies, or the term I prefer to use is ‘satellite states’, has resulted in the imposition of niche values across the globe, while portraying them as universal human values.

[08:22]

The ambitions of this group have become so grandiose, that their very narrow interests are presented as the interests of all of humanity.

[08:31]

This is not so.

[08:34]

The very concept of state sovereignty, for many states in the world today, has become obsolete.

[08:39]

Instead, a new formula has been introduced: the more loyal a satellite state becomes to the central centre of influence, the more that state is portrayed to have a legitimate system of governing.

[08:52]

We will have a Question & Answer session later on, and I will gladly take the opportunity to ask you questions myself, but I urge you to try and prove my thesis wrong.

[09:08]

The repercussions on those who would not obey has been well demonstrated.

[09:12]

Military might, economic pressure, the spread of propaganda and misinformation, and the intrusion into a sovereign state’s internal affairs.

[09:19]

The imposition of a fake legitimacy to actions, whenever a certain activity needs to be justified, or certain inconvenient regimes need to be deposed.

[09:30]

In recent years, we have even seen blatant blackmail of global leaders used as a credible means to the ends.

[09:37]

It is not coincidental, that the so-called “Big Brother” spends billions of dollars toward surveillance, even over its closest allies.

[09:46]

Let’s ask ourselves the following questions :

[08:50]

How satisfied are you living in the world of today? How safe do you feel? How comfortable?

[09:55]

Is it a just world? Is it a rational world?

[09:58]

Perhaps we really don’t have anything to worry about? Perhaps we shouldn’t ask inconvenient questions? Perhaps the hegemony of the US really is a blessing for us all? The way they carry out their leadership?

[10:12]

Perhaps the interference of the US in every state’s affairs on the entire globe really does bring peace, stability, security, progress, prosperity and democracy?

[10:23]

Should we just kick back and relax?

[10:29]

This is the furthest thing from the truth. It is absolutely the furthest thing from the truth.

[10:35]

One-sided actions and the imposition of template interests delivers results to the contrary.

[10:41]

Instead of regulating a conflict, we see its escalation.

[10:45]

Instead of stable, sovereign states, we see increasing chaos.

[10:51]

Instead of democracy, we see support toward those of questionable moral authority; from outright Neo-NAZIs to Islamic radicals.

[10:58]

Why does the US support these characters?

[11:01]

Because they are used, at various stages, as pawns, toward the accomplishment of the US’ own agenda.

[11:06]

Occasionally they get burned, but then they start over.

[11:09]

It never fails to amaze me the way our partners in the US, as we say in Russia, stand on the same rake twice.

[11:16]

It means you make the same mistakes over and over again.

[11:19]

The US has, once upon a time, sponsored Islamic radicals in the fight against the Soviet Union, training them in Afghanistan.

[11:27]

From there, we have the modern day Taliban and Al Qaeda.

[11:31]

The West closed its eyes, or I would prefer to say, it outright supported, both financially and politically, the intrusion of international terrorists into Russia.

[11:41]

We have not forgotten this, neither have central Asian countries.

[11:47]

It is not until terrorism reached the United States themselves that terrorism became an official, mutual threat.

[11:56]

Let me remind you that Russia was the first to respond to your tragedy. We supported you as friends and allies on September 11th.

[12:05]

Whenever we are in talks with global leaders, we are always talking about the fight against international terrorism. This is a global issue.

[12:14]

You cannot use terrorism as a tool, as part of your double standards.

[12:23]

The US would often agree with us, but in time, everything always returned to how it was.

[12:32]

What followed was the invasion of Iraq, and then of Libya. That country has been reduced to rubble ...

[12:44]

It has become a breeding ground for terrorists.

[12:48]

It is thanks to the will and wisdom of the current government of Egypt [1], that this key Arab nation has not been entirely taken over by radicals.

[12:57]

In Syria too, like old times, the US blatantly finances the armament and training of rebels, attracting the mercenaries from all over the world.

[13:10]

Ask yourselves - how is it that rebels are equipped with weapons, finances, military specialists even? Where does it come from?

[13:19]

How is it possible that ISIS has spontaneously become a fierce, armed legion?

[13:29]

ISIS finances come not only from drug trafficking. And as you all know, while the US and allies have been present in Afghanistan, drug production has increased many times fold.

[13:44]

Financing also comes from the sale of oil. Terrorists control Syria’s oil fields.

[13:53]

They plunder it, transport it and sell it below market-value to interested parties.

Who is buying it? Reselling it? Who is taking advantage of it?

[14:02]

Whoever is financing them in this way, may or may not understand that these terrorists may arrive on their territories also. They can bring death to your country, too.

[14:13]

Where do the new recruits come from?

[14:18]

In Iraq, for example, when the US disposed of Saddam Hussein, every institution was destroyed, including the army. It was at this point that we said; “Be careful with what you are doing. Where do you think these men are going to go?”

[14:28]

What are they going to do in the streets of Iraq? Do not forget these men were under the central command of quite an important state, regionally.

[14:42]

What have you turned it into? What have you achieved? Tens of thousands of former Ba’ath Party, trained military men, that today fill the ranks of rebels.

[14:52]

Is this where the capability of ISIS comes from? ISIS are very skilled and effective at what they do. I would call many of these people professionals.

[15:04]

Russia, on more than one occasion, had warned of the dangers of one-sided actions involving military might and the meddling in the internal affairs of sovereign states. We warned against this ‘flirtation’ with extremists and radicals.

[15:14]

We insisted on the inclusion of rebels fighting the Syrian government, namely ISIS, on the list of international terror organizations. What has been the outcome? It doesn’t do a thing.

[15:25]

I get the impression that our US friends and colleagues are on a never-ending mission to fight the outcomes of their own foreign policy.

[15:36]

They throw their weight around, mitigating these ‘risks’ that they created, while the price of doing so is only increasing.

[15:43]

Dear colleagues, this unipolar world has shown us that the model of dominance by one central structure does not lead to the effective development of global governance processes.

[15:56]

To the contrary, this feeble structure has shown its inability to address such mutual threats as regional conflicts, terrorism, drug trafficking, religious fanaticism, chauvinism, and neo-NAZIsm.

[16:12]

At the same time, it opened the door toward nationalism, the manipulation of public opinion, the blatant domination of the stronger over the weaker.

[16:26]

In its essence, this unipolar world is an apology for a dictatorship. This dictatorship is taking place over the people and over states.

[16:35]

This unipolar world is out of control, it is unmanageable and frankly uncomfortable to the self-professed leadership itself.

[16:43]

The current attempts to create a ‘quasi-polar’ world have reached historical levels.

[16:54]

A quasi-polar model of the world order facilitates a convenient method of governance on behalf of the US hegemony.

[17:02]

And it doesn’t even matter which state will assume the position of the “largest evil” in US propaganda, in place of the former USSR, as the main opponent.

[17:09]

Is it Iran, and its ambition to obtain nuclear technologies?

Is it China, for being the economic leader of the modern world?

Or is it Russia, for being a nuclear superpower?

[17:19]

Once again, we are seeing attempts to divide the world. To draw lines of differentiation. To divide us into coalitions, and not even on the understanding of being for something, but against someone.

[17:29]

Once again the US is creating an enemy, the same way it was achieved during the Cold War. In this way, they obtain the ability to rule.

[17:38]

Or, as I would like to say, this method gives them the legitimate right to dictatorship.

[17:42]

We are familiar with the way this was achieved during the Cold War. The allies were told: “We have a mutual enemy. It is very scary. It is the center of evil. We will protect you as our allies against this enemy.”

[17:59]

“This means we have the right to tell you what to do.” They will tell you to sacrifice your political and economic interests as well as to share in the costs of collective armed forces.

[18:10]

But it is only the US who will be allowed to command those forces.

[18:14]

I can see in our modern world this attempt to realize the age old scheme of global governance.

[18:20]

All of these attempts revolve around securing the exclusivity of the US, while receiving political and economic dividends.

[18:33]

These attempts not only contradict the reality of our world, as well as our diversity, but they provoke reactionary measures. Their plans will not turn our the way they would like them to.

[18:47]

We have seen what happens when politics crosses over into matters of the economy.

[18:54]

Rational reasoning is replaced by contradictory logic, even at the cost of your own national interests. Most often we see this kind of reasoning harming your national businesses.

[19:07]

Joint economic projects as well as foreign investment bring countries closer together. They help to mitigate any overarching issues the two corresponding governments may have.

[19:17]

Today, however, the international community is facing unprecedented pressure on behalf of Western governments, not to engage.

[19:23]

How can the world focus on business, economic development, and pragmatism when the age-old adage is thrown out once again ... “Our nation is under threat.”

[19:32]

“Freedom is under threat.”
“Democracy is under threat.”
“We must mobilize.”

[19:37]

This is the politics of mobilisation.

[19:41]

Take sanctions for example; they undermine trade regulations as well as laws agreed to within the WTO.

[19:45]

They destroy the principles of private property, the liberal idea of globalisation that is founded on the concepts of free trade and competition.

[19:53]

The main beneficiaries of these ideas are yourselves - Western states.

[19:57]

Today, you are losing your legitimacy as leaders of the liberal ideas of globalisation.

[20:01]

So, I’m asking you - why are you doing this?

[20:07]

The prosperity of the economy of the United States relies heavily on the trust of your investors, overseas holders of US dollars, shares and bonds.

[20:15]

This trust is being undermined.

[20:17]

Disappointment with the outcomes of globalisation is present in many states.

[20:22]

The Cyprus precedent, as well as politically motivated sanctions have only encouraged the tendency toward increased financial sovereignty.

[20:30]

What drives governments into new regional coalitions is the desire to insure themselves against blackmail.

[20:37]

Today, more and more states are seeking out methods that disengage their economies from US dollar dependency.

[20:44]

They are seeking out ways to create alternative financial systems and reserve currencies.

[20:49]

The way I see it is that our US friends are simply about to snap the very branch they are perched upon ...

[20:58]

You simply cannot mix political aims with economics in this way. Yet this is exactly what is occurring.

[21:02]

I have always said and I will continue to say that politically motivated sanctions are a mistake. They harm all parties involved. I’m sure we will have a chance to talk about this at a later stage too.

[21:09]

We understand perfectly well as to who produced pressure on other states for these sanctions to be implemented and why.

[21:25]

Let me make this very clear; that

Russia does not have tantrums.
Russia does not hold grudges.
Russia does not beg for anything.
Russia is a self-sufficient country.

[21:24]

We will make it work within the economic environment that has occurred.

[21:29]

We will continue developing our productivity and our technologies.

[21:31]

We will act more boldly in changing circumstances, and any pressure put on us will only consolidate our society.

[21:39]

It has ‘shook us up’ so to speak, and allowed us to streamline our efforts on key areas of development.

[21:45]

Sanctions do, of course, hurt us.

[21:51]

These sanctions are designed to stifle our progress and development. Their aim is to isolate us economically, politically, and culturally. In other words, they’d like to see us turn into a backward society.

[22:01]

But let me bring this to your attention ...

[22:06]

The world today is starkly different to the world of yesterday.

[22:10]

We have no intention of shying away from this new world, choosing some sort of closed off development or autarky.

[22:18]

We are always ready for dialogue with you toward the normalisation of economic affairs as well as political affairs.

[22:25]

I’m counting here on the pragmatic approach of the business circles of key economies.

[22:30]

Today we hear notions that Russia is somehow turning away from Europe, I’m sure this came up in your sessions also ...

[22:35]

Notions that Russia is looking for new partners in Asia instead.

[22:39]

This is absolutely incorrect.

[22:45]

Our active involvement in the Asia-Pacific region did not begin recently, and was not a counter measure to the sanctions.

[22:53]

Our increased involvement with this region began a good number of years ago.

[22:57]

The East is becoming an increasingly influential region on the global arena, the West is aware of this also. Both politically and economically.

[23:14]

Every state is aware of this growing influence. Let me emphasize again, all governments today are engaging with Asia more actively ... as do we.

[23:21]

Consider also that a vast amount of our territory is located in Asia. It does not make sense for us not to use this positioning to our advantage.

[23:29]

Not doing so would constitute a lack of vision.

[23:33]

Developing of economic relations with Asian states, together with joint projects, provides stimulus for out continued development.

[23:40]

The current trend toward economic, political and cultural cooperation with Asia does mean that the dependency on the US, as the only global power, will become considerably less.

[23:48]

This is all well written about by both US and European experts.

[23:58]

In world politics, we are likely to see the same tendencies as in the world economy ...

[24:02]

That is intensive competition in niche areas, the frequent change of leadership in specific areas, this is all quite likely. Humanitarian aspects will receive more emphasis: education, science, health, culture.

[24:20]

This is going to impact international relations significantly.

[24:24]

This kind of ‘soft power’ resource is going to stem from actual achievements in the development of human capital, rather than the disingenuous propaganda we see today.

[24:36]

Together with this, we will see the formation of a polycentric world. But this on its own does not guarantee our security, dear colleagues.

[24:46]

To the contrary, a polycentric world creates new puzzles for us to solve in the quest to achieve a more equal world. There will be many unknown factors in this equation.

[24:57]

What awaits us, if we choose the option of no rules, rather than new rules?

[25:08]

‘No rules’ is a very real scenario. I can’t rule it out given the heated situation today.

[25:14]

Based on current trends, my prognosis is quite obvious, and it is not optimistic.

[25:25]

If we do not create a coherent system of obligations and cooperation, chances of anarchy are high.

[25:35]

Today, I see an increased chance of a major conflict taking place, if not directly between major powers, then through proxy conflicts.

[25:43]

I see this occurring not just from traditional disagreements between major states, but from internal upheaval in other countries.

[25:53]

This comes from countries located in pivot geopolitical areas and interests, as well as on the crossroads of cultural, political, economic, and civilizational importance.

[26:04]

Ukraine, as I’m sure you’ve talked about in your sessions, is one such example. The situation in this country has a direct correlation to the balance of power in the world, Ukraine is also not the last such conflict to occur - by far, in my view.

[26:19]

It is with this understanding that I address my next point; the dismantling of the international system of disarmament designed to limit the threat of military conflict.

[26:29]

This very dangerous precedent was set by the United States. In 2002, the US unilaterally withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. At the same time, the US proceeded to realise its missile positioning all over the world.

[26:46]

My dear friends and colleagues, let me focus your attention ...

[26:49]

We didn’t start this ...

[26:54]

We are quickly returning to a previous era, that is not guided by mutual interests and mutual guarantees. The only force holding powers back from direct confrontation is the very real threat of mutual destruction.

[27:04]

Due to the lack of lawful tools, military might has once again become the only tool. It is used wherever they like, and however they like, there is no requirement for a UN Security Council decision.

[27:17]

And where the UN Security Council refuses to provide a certain decision, it is immediately branded as “outdated”, “incompetent” and simply a useless instrument.

[27:26]

Some governments simply do not see another way to protect their sovereignty than to obtain their own nuclear bomb. This is a highly dangerous situation.

[27:37]

Russia will continue to insist on mutual cooperation. We are not just for holding these talks, we are insisting on them. The talks on nuclear disarmament of states must occur.

[27:46]

The less nuclear weaponry in the world, the better.

[27:51]

We are ready for the most serious discussions with you, surrounding the issues of nuclear disarmament.

[27:56]

But only serious discussions. Without double standards.

[28:01]

What do I mean by this?

Many precision weapons today, due to their abilities, have become weapons of mass destruction.

[28:10]

So, in the case of complete nuclear disarmament, and the critical scaling down of the nuclear arsenal, countries who possess precision weapon systems will still possess military advantages.

[28:23]

In this way, priorities of the military will become fractured, which may also cause destabilisation. The seduction to deliver the first blow still exists. Put simply, risks do not diminish in this way.

[28:39]

The next big threat are the conflicts along ethnic-religious lines. These conflicts are not only dangerous in their own right, but they create areas of non-government around themselves. This breeds lawlessness and chaos.

[28:55]

Terrorists feel right at home there, as well as average criminals, pirates, drug traffickers, and people smugglers.

[29:04]

Actually, our US partners tried to control these processes, taking advantage of regional conflicts, constructing colour revolutions to suit their own interests, however ...

[29:15]

...the genie has escaped the bottle.

[29:17]

What to do with his genie, even the authors of this ‘controllable chaos’ do not know.

[29:24]

Their aim is confusion and vacillation.

[28:26]

We attentively follow the discussions of their ruling elite, as well as academia and experts in the field.

[29:34]

Actually, it’s enough for us just to have a look at the headlines of mainstream media in the US over the past year ...

[29:43]

The people first termed “freedom fighters” and later “radical Islamists”, are the same people.

[29:46]

First it’s a “revolution”, and later it’s a coup ...

[29:49]

The outcome is evident - further escalation of global chaos.

[29:55]

Dear colleagues, given the global situation, it is time we started cooperating based on principles.

[30:03]

This is exceedingly important, and necessary.

[30:08]

It is a better option than going off in our separate directions. Especially when you understand that we are all facing mutual threats.

[30:15]

We are all in the same boat.

[30:18]

The logical answer is the cooperation between states and communities, and the communal quest toward solving these problems. The mutual mitigation of risks.

[30:26]

Our partners tend to mention this only if and when it suits their own interests.

[30:33]

Practical experience shows that mutual responses are not always a panacea, I must admit that, and secondly mutual solutions are difficult to achieve.

[30:45]

It is not easy to surpass the differences of national interests, objectivity of approach, especially when countries differ along cultural and historical traditions.

[30:55]

Yet there are examples of mutual cooperation, acting on the basis of universal criteria, where real successes have been achieved.

[31:05]

Examples are issues surrounding chemical weapons in Syria, the containment of the Iranian nuclear programme, as well as our work in North Korea, which showed credible signs of success. Why shouldn’t we use this experience in further solving local and global issues?

[31:28]

What should the legal basis and authority be for the new world order? One that facilitates safety and stability, supports healthy competition, and does not allow for the formation of new monopolies that impede development?

[31:44]

I doubt that anyone can give a complete, overarching answer.

[31:50]

This is going to require lengthy work, involving governments, businesses, civil society and other experts, kind of like our forum here today.

[32:03]

It is evident however, that success and results are only possible where key players can agree on their basic interests as well as sensible self-limitation.

[32:15]

We need an example of positive, responsible leadership ...

[32:20]

We must decide with precision as to the boundaries of one-sided actions, as well as which situations require a multi-dimensional approach,

[32:26]

Within the universality of international law, we must reconcile the following problem; security and adherence to human rights, and the concept of state sovereignty and non-interference in the internal affairs of governments.

[32:40]

It is this collision of concepts that leads to the interference of other states into national affairs. These are difficult processes, that provoke contradictory responses on behalf of key wold players.

[32:55]

The concept of national sovereignty, in this way, becomes the main point of contention when discussing global security.

[33:01]

It is obvious that any discussion surrounding the use of force and the criteria around it is very difficult - you practically cannot disengage it from the national interests of some countries.

[33:11]

However, it is much more dangerous to set no such criteria at all.

[33:15]

We must have precise criteria, which regulate the use of force as is necessary and lawful. I must emphasise that international relations must be founded on international law.

[33:26]

International law must be derived from universal concepts of justice, lawfulness and truth.

[33:34]

One of the main aspects is respect towards your partners and their national interests.

[33:38]

It seems an obvious formula, but to adhere to it would result in an improvement in the global situation.

[33:44]

I am assured in our abilities to reconstruct the effectiveness of regional and international institutions, should we have the will. There is nothing we need to build from scratch; this isn’t a ‘greenfield’.

[33:59]

The existing post-WWII institutions are quite universal. They can be updated to reflect modern realities.

[34:10]

This goes for the work of the UN, its central role is imperative, Also the OSCE, which in its 40 years has positioned itself as a necessary mechanism regulating security in the Euro-Atlantic region.

[34:28]

Today, in the North East of the Ukraine, the OSCE plays an important role, mitigating that conflict.

[34:35]

Given the background of fundamental changes in international affairs, we need a new consensus surrounding the points of authority of international institutions.

[34:44]

I am not talking about local conditions, or traditional divisions of spheres of influence, or any notions of domination. I think what we need is a new concept of interdependence.

[35:00]

Interdependence is nothing to be afraid of. To the contrary, it is a sound method toward the mitigation of our differences.

[35:09]

It is important in the understanding of the growth and strengthening of separate regions of the world. Their formation calls for institutionalised development of policies that could regulate the interdependent affairs of these regions.

[35:23]

Cooperation amongst regional institutions contributes to the stability of global security, politics, and the global economy. To achieve this, all regional centers and integration projects must stand an equal chance at development. These projects should fulfill and add to one another, rather than clash, through orchestrated efforts of another party.

[35:49]

Taking this kind of destructive approach destroys the interconnectedness of states, as well as states themselves.

[36:03]

Let me remind you of last year’s situation; where we reminded our US and EU partners that any hurried, backdoor agreements in relation to the association between the Ukraine and EU, would be ridden with serious stability risks.

[36:20]

We didn’t even mention any political risks, we were talking primarily about economic matters.

[36:26]

Secretive steps in this direction seriously impacted the interests of third party states. This included Russia, as the main trading partner of the Ukraine. A wide array of discussions should have been undertaken.

[36:35]

The talks surrounding the inclusion of Russia into the WTO lasted 19 years. There was a lot of difficult work undertaken in order to be able to reach a certain consensus.

[36:51]

Why do I mention this? Because during the negotiations between the Ukraine and the EU, our partners simply walked in via a backdoor, with their goods and services. We never agreed to this ...

[37:05]

Nobody even thought to consider us.

[37:09]

We held talks across a wide variety of subjects when it came to the association of the Ukraine with the EU. We insisted on this, in order to be able to talk in the most civil of ways. We brought various arguments and analysis forward, pointing out possible areas of contention.

[37:20]

Nobody wanted to talk to us, nor to listen to us.

[37:25]

We were simply told, “none of your business.” And thats the end of the discussion.

[37:31]

Instead of a difficult but civilized dialogue, they preferred a government coup.

[37:35]

They plunged the country into chaos, destroyed the economy and social systems, and now into a civil war with a huge amount of casualties.

[37:41]

Why?

[37:43]

When I ask them why? - I don’t get an answer. Nobody can answer me.

[37:49]

They just shrug and say - ‘it just happened that way.’

[37:52]

Well if you hadn’t encouraged it, it would not have unfolded that way.

[37:56]

Former President of Ukraine Yanukovich had signed everything they wanted, had agreed to everything ...

[38:02]

... Why did you do this? What was your point? Is this a civilised resolution?

[38:12]

Those who endlessly orchestrate one colour revolution after the next must think themselves a great kind of genius. The simply cannot stop themselves.

[38:22]

Regional integration must form upon a transparent, coherent foundation.

[38:28]

One such regional project is the Eurasian Economic Union. Member states of this union had notified their trade partners in advance of their intentions to join the Union, as well as the way that its objectives fit in with WTO principles.

[38:46]

I will add that, we would welcome future dialogue between the Eurasian Economic Union and the European Union.

[38:54]

As a side note - our invitation towards this has always, to date, been rejected.

[38:57]

Its not clear why.

[39:01]

What is so scary about this?

[39:06]

When it comes to integration work, I have heard many of our Western friends agree with me, at least European friends, of the need to create a single economic as a well as humanitarian space, one that stretches from the Atlantic to the South Pacific.

[39:26]

Dear Colleagues, Russia has made its choice. Our priority is the continued improvement of democratic institutions and economic development.

[39:35]

Internal development grounded on the latest positive trends in the world economy, and the continued consolidation of our society, founded on traditional, patriotic values.

[39:45]

We offer a positive, peaceful, integrationist approach.

[39:51]

We actively work together with our colleagues in the Eurasian Economic Union, the Shangai Cooperation Organisation, BRICS, and other partners.

[39:58]

Our approach focuses on linking governments together - not the other way around.

[40:04]

We have no intention of masterminding some kind of ‘block’, or engaging in a tit-for-tat mentality.

[40:11]

There is no truthful basis to the nation that Russia is trying to resurrect some sort of ‘empire’, that it intrudes on the sovereignty of its neighbours.

[40:18]

Russia does not demand a special status or exclusivity in the world.

[40:24]

Let me emphasize that.

[40:27]

Just as we respect your national interests, we would like for you, too, to respect our national interests, and you must respect our position.

[40:34]

We understand that the world has entered an era of change and transformation. We must exercise a high level of caution, as well as the ability to avoid actions that are not well thought through.

[40:47]

Since the end of the Cold War, the major players on the world stage have somewhat forgotten these skills. You must now learn to apply them again.

[40:55]

Otherwise, our ambitions toward stable, peaceful development will turn into a dangerous illusion.

[41:00]

Today’s trends may spell the collapse of the world order.

[41:06]

Yes, as I’ve already mentioned, the reinvention of the world order is a difficult task.

[41:10]

It implies very lengthy and difficult work, given it’s nature.

[41:16]

But if we could accomplish it after the Second World War, and if we could come to an agreement in Helsinki in the 1970s, our common objective should be to resolve this fundamental issue at a new level of development.

[41:29]

Thank you for your attention.

[1]General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, 6th President of Egypt, assumed office 8 June 2014