On October 3, 2019, Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke at the final plenary session of the 16th meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club. The session was attended by Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev, Jordanian King Abdullah II, Kazakhstan President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, and Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte.
In his speech, Putin stressed that global problems cannot be resolved without Asia. Putin said: "The world has become multi-polar and, hence more complicated largely owing to the Asian countries." He then specified that multi-polarity is not "a cure-all."
Adding that the authors of the annual Valdai Club report insist that in this era, there is no world order whatsoever, he said: "Yes, such a scenario is indeed possible. But it is fraught with many threats, we are all aware of that. I would like to hope that however complicated the relations between countries, however dangerous the legal lacunae might be, such as in nuclear and missile weapons areas, the world order, based on the key role of international law, will be transformed, but it will remain. We will all be working to protect it."
Putin emphasized that it is impossible to do without a systemic world order, but explained that there is also a need for flexibility and non-linearity, in order to arrange a complex process rooted in realities, which presupposes the ability to consider various cultural and value systems, dismissing "geopolitical clichés." He added that he is against the idea of imposing a model as an axiom.
Referring to the 19th century system of international "Concert of Powers," he stated that the time had come to talk in terms of a global "concert" of development models, interests, cultures, and traditions. "It is crucial to consider the opinions and interests of all the participants in international life. Let me reiterate: truly mutually respectful, pragmatic and consequently solid relations can only be built between independent and sovereign states," he stated.
He concluded his speech by stressing that Russia is complying in full with its obligations as one of the guardians of the existing world order.
During the Q&As, Putin further explained Russia's concept for a new world order, which he said should replace a unipolar world dominated by the West. "Our concept is not meant to create new blocs such as Europe or North Atlantic after World War II," Putin stated. He then underlined that Russia's concept is not to destroy what has been created in the past decades, but rather to gradually transform and adapt the existing system of international relations to the new realities, with due consideration of the growing power and prospects of Asia's development in general.
Commenting on Russia-China relations, Putin called them an allied relationship in the full sense of a multifaceted strategic partnership. He the revealed that Russia is helping China to create a missile attack warning system.
Below are excerpts of Putin's speech at the Valdai Discussion Forum:
The Asian Nations Prove In Their Forward Progress That The Principles Of State Sovereignty Do Not Contradict Openness And Globalization
Putin: "... This time, the hosts have come up with a truly inexhaustible and, I would say, fascinating topic which is the East and the role of Asia as the world's largest and most populated region. Relations between Russia and the Asian states, which have always been of particular importance to us, I believe, are of interest to everyone. The nature of Russia's relations with Asia is dictated not only by today's realities, but by history as well.
"India and China, Egypt and Iran, Turkey and Japan, the countries of Central and Southeast Asia are heirs to great ancient civilizations, which gave humankind unique knowledge and technology, as well as discoveries in medicine, mathematics, culture and the arts...
"Today, Asia, throughout its vast reach from the Maghreb and the Middle East all the way to East and Southeast Asia, is regaining its natural place in international affairs, which is commensurate with its great heritage and today's undoubtedly vast and growing potential.
"The positions of the Asian states are becoming stronger in all areas, but mainly in the economy. The region already accounts for over a third of the gross world product. Living standards are improving at a higher pace than the global average. The most advanced technology is being introduced. The unprecedented scale of integration processes and globalization are drawing both individual countries and entire adjacent sub-regions to Asia.
"While demonstrating impressive examples of progress, the Asian nations still preserve their unique features and traditions. They remember their roots and prove in their forward progress that the principles of state sovereignty do not contradict openness and globalization, that sustainable development can be based on independence and self-sufficiency rather than their mandatory renunciation, and that growing national economic and humanitarian potential requires political identity.
"Naturally, having effectively and wisely used the opportunities of globalization and having become economic leaders, the Asian states are striving to play a bigger role in world politics. This is an absolutely natural process. They uphold their own opinions on key international issues, treasure their independence and hope that their objectively increasing influence will be recognized. We believe this is only fair and meets the realities of today and tomorrow.
The World Has Become Multi-Polar And, Hence More Complicated Largely Owing To The Asian Countries
"Incidentally, at one time Asia's awakening, as it is called, and the national and cultural revival of its states, played an enormous role in the democratization of international ties. Today, it is obvious that global problems cannot be resolved without Asia. Of course, it is possible to try to do this with momentum and based on past experience, but the legitimacy, and most importantly, the practical value of such approaches, which are presented as global and universal, will be questionable.
"The world has become multi-polar and, hence more complicated largely owing to the Asian countries. But, as I have said, multi-polarity as such is not a cure-all. Nor does it mean that urgent problems will disappear by themselves.
"The authors of the annual Valdai Club report insist, and we have just heard this, that we have entered an era with no world order whatsoever. This has been practically voiced right now. Yes, such a scenario is indeed possible. But it is fraught with many threats, we are all aware of that. I would like to hope that however complicated the relations between countries, however dangerous the legal lacunae might be, such as in nuclear and missile weapons areas, the world order, based on the key role of international law, will be transformed, but it will remain. We will all be working to protect it. A different way is obviously fraught with global calamities for practically all of humanity.
"The world system is undoubtedly multi-faceted and complicated and unprecedentedly interconnected at that. Everyone has their own objective interests that do not always coincide with those of others, this is also evident. But there is a feeling of common responsibility. Ultimately, I hope, no, actually, I do not doubt that there is also common sense, a striving for security.
"This is why we cannot do without a systemic world order. But we also need both flexibility and, let me add, non-linearity, which would not mean a rejection of the system but the capability to arrange a complex process rooted in realities, which presupposes the ability to consider various cultural and value systems, the need to act together, dismissing stereotypes and geopolitical clichés. This is the only way to effectively solve the challenges on the global, regional, and national levels...
"It is obvious to us that diversity within a nation is normal. It teaches both patience and tolerance in the true meaning of these words, and the ability to understand and accept different opinions, traditions and ways of life rather than impose our model as an axiom. We believe our experience can be useful for many of our partners.
"With regard to the world in general, since all nations are obviously different, uniformity and universalization are impossible by default. A system is required whereby different values, ideas and traditions can co-exist, interact and mutually enrich one another while retaining and highlighting their peculiarities and differences
Truly Mutually Respectful, Pragmatic And Consequently Solid Relations Can Only Built Between Independent And Sovereign States
"There was a vision in 19th century diplomacy... So, in the 19th century they used to refer to a 'Concert of Powers.' The time has come to talk in terms of a global 'concert' of development models, interests, cultures and traditions where the sound of each instrument is crucial, inextricable and valuable, and for the music to be played harmoniously rather than performed with discordant notes, a cacophony. It is crucial to consider the opinions and interests of all the participants in international life. Let me reiterate: truly mutually respectful, pragmatic and consequently solid relations can only built between independent and sovereign states.
"Russia is sincerely committed to this approach and pursues a positive agenda. We stand for strict compliance with international law and enhancing mutual confidence and respect. We are building interstate relations and communication on fair and democratic foundations with an emphasis on the UN Charter.
"Our country is focused on stepping up security and stability, on fighting international terrorism and other threats and challenges. We act for the sake of establishing – including in Asia – a system of equal and indivisible security resting on far-ranging and collective work.
"Incidentally, the Russia-Africa Summit will be held here, in Sochi, in three-weeks. We are prepared to propose to our African colleagues and friends a broad agenda of equal interaction covering many different areas – the economy, energy, transport, education and the environment.
It Was Only Thanks To Patriotism That Russia Could Move Ahead
"In conclusion, I would like to divert from the main topic and tell you something, which, just the same, is related to it. I would like to say that almost 20 years ago – shortly before the year 2000 – my article, Russia at the Turn of the Millennium, was published. The analysis of global affairs and development prospects it then offered seems to me to have generally matched reality.
"Indeed, in the 1990s, Russia lived through one of the hardest periods in its history. In addition to the deep political, economic and social crisis in the country, we found ourselves exposed to aggression by international terrorism. At the time, Russia drew close to a very dangerous line and if it had crossed it, it would have faced the worst thing for any nation and country, which is the break-up and disintegration of the state. The threat was in the air and the majority of people were aware of it.
"Of course, back then we could – the threat was absolutely real – plunge into the abyss of a large-scale civil war and be stripped of national unity and sovereignty, ending up on the periphery of global politics. It was only thanks to patriotism, bravery and the rare ability of the Russian and other peoples living in the country to bear the hardships and work hard so that Russia could move back from this dangerous line.
"Of course, there are things that could have been done differently and better during these 20 years. But we have gained unique experience, and I believe there is demand for it around the world. Before we came into this room, my colleagues and I discussed one of the most important issues today – terrorism.
"Indeed, we in Russia still have to address plenty of issues. At the same time, due to political stability and the efforts of the whole nation, Russia has not only recovered and continues to grow stronger economically and socially, it confidently ranks among the leading, authoritative and responsible countries. Our country complies in full with its obligations as one of the guardians of the existing world order. I am sure this will continue in the future. This will be even more effective if we work together.
"Thank you very much for your attention."
It Is Impossible By Definition To Contain China; Anyone Trying To Do So Will Only Hurt Himself In The Course Of Such An Attempt
Nandan Unnikrishnan: "I am from India. Mr President, the world is facing major challenges following the end of unipolarity. Various new concepts arise during this transition to a new world order, such as Eurasia, Greater Eurasia, and so on.
"There is a concept that spans the Indian Ocean and the Pacific, and it is called Indo-Pacific. Many say that it was developed by the United States to contain China, although Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently said that this is not so and the Indian Indo-Pacific concept is completely different. It is a completely open system, and any country can join.
"What do you think about this concept?"
Vladimir Putin: "You see, there are already different interpretations of this concept. May I say a few words about our concept? Our concept is not meant to create new blocs such as Europe or North Atlantic after World War II.
"Today in Asia, I think, ASEAN is the central organization and there is a structure for various organizations and platforms around this central ASEAN organization. There is ASEAN +1 and so on, such as the meeting of ASEAN defense ministers.
"If such a network structure of various organizations is created and they interact with each other, it can be called anything. If an attempt is made to create some kind of a bloc-based organization, I believe, first, this is un-Asian to begin with and is at odds with the current state of affairs in Asia.
"Second, it's unlikely to be feasible, because I know the sentiment of many of our friends in Asia, and they do not want to join any blocs against anyone. They want to create a network of cooperation in various areas, as I said today, in order to, move forward together taking into account each other's interests and seeking and finding compromises. They do not want to be involved in confrontation between any states, and even more so they do not want to be part of any blocs. This is the first part.
"The second part is about trying to contain China. I think this is impossible by definition. Anyone trying to do so will realize it's impossible, and will certainly only hurt himself in the course of such an attempt.
"In any case, I consider this possible scenario to be destructive and harmful. We should focus on joining efforts to create an environment of friendly cooperation and to search for common security systems. This is something we should work on together, including, of course, India, which is one of the countries closest to us in the world and especially in Asia."
We Are Now Helping Our Chinese Partners To Create A Missile Attack Warning System
Sergei Luzyanin (Institute of Far Eastern Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences): "Mr President,
"We are all aware that this year marks anniversaries for China and for us. It is 70 years since the founding of the People's Republic of China, and 70 years of diplomatic relations between our countries. We have already congratulated our Chinese friends and partners at the Valdai Club.
"Our partnership has reached a very high level. So, a question. What opportunities that are already being successfully implemented as part of the partnership can benefit our two countries? What are the areas for partnership?
"Perhaps, not all these issues have been sorted out and cooperation has not yet reached its full potential for objective reasons. I am talking about successes and future potential. Thank you."
Vladimir Putin: "Successes are there for everyone to see. First, we enjoy an unprecedentedly high level of trust and cooperation. This is an allied relationship in the full sense of a multifaceted strategic partnership. This is reflected in the economy.
"We are increasing our trade at a fast pace. As you may be aware, last year it reached $108 billion, although we had only planned to reach this number two years from now. Now, we will start moving to the $200 billion mark.
"The trade structure is diversifying. Of course, energy accounts for over 70 percent of our exports, but this is natural. We have the product, and China needs it. This does not mean that we do not engage in other industries or other areas of economic cooperation.
"We have already built four units of the Tianwan Nuclear Power Plant (which is part of our high-tech cooperation) and are working on four more units. This involves a major, simply huge amount of work.
"We are working on a wide-body long-range aircraft and a heavy-duty helicopter. This project will be completed, I have no doubt about it. We are actively cooperating in outer space, and expanding our ties in agriculture. We cannot even cover the needs of China in soybeans. They are ready to buy from us as much as we can produce, but we are not ready for it.
"Here is a partial answer to your question: what else needs to be done? We could have met their demand and, I am sorry for putting it bluntly, our farmers could have made some money on this. But we cannot supply soybeans in such quantity. There are not enough proper agricultural areas and related investment has not been made.
"We will continue to work together in outer space exploration and cooperate in the military-technical sphere. I am probably not revealing a big secret here, but it will transpire sooner or later anyway: we are now helping our Chinese partners create a missile attack warning system. This is very important and will drastically increase China's defense capability. Only the United States and Russia have such a system now.
"We are very closely and deeply involved in cultural cooperation. I will not list everything that goes with this now.
"Region-to-region cooperation is at a very high level as well. I am not talking about joint infrastructure which is expanding, but the border provinces of China and the adjacent Russian regions in the Far East interact very well with each other. This is an entire complex, a set of interaction projects.
"At the same time, and I want to emphasize this specifically, our friendship or joint work have never been used to oppose anyone. We always work in a positive manner and in each other's interests."
The Situation Worsened After The United States' Withdrawal From The INF Treaty
Valdai Discussion Club Research Director Fyodor Lukyanov: "We realized while we were preparing for this event that, clearly, there would be more questions than it would be possible to field, so we at the Valdai Club arranged some questions into groups of the same category in advance. I will only ask some of them to save time.
"You have talked many times about this subject, but nonetheless, it looks like it remains a major concern. This year a number of events that impact nuclear stability occurred, sending mixed signals. On the one hand, the United States has withdrawn from the INF Treaty, having sparked debate on this issue. The United States has accused Russia.
"On the other hand, after that, Mr Bolton, who was the main advocate of withdrawing from this Treaty, lost his job. Probably, in so doing, President Trump meant something else. Discussion on the START Treaty continues, and, so far, it is unclear where it will lead.
"A year ago, you and I sat on this stage and you used a very emotionally-charged expression that in the event of a nuclear war, perish the thought, the aggressors would perish and we would go to paradise. Have we moved closer to paradise during this year?"
Vladimir Putin: "All of us are always close to God to the same extent and He will decide where we deserve to be at the end of our lives on Earth. But, of course, the situation has not improved. It has worsened after the United States' withdrawal from the INF Treaty. This is clear to everyone. Now we are waiting for the next move.
"Moreover, I believe that the United States tested a ground-based intermediate-range missile that was covered by this Treaty shortly after it announced its decision to withdraw from it, indicating that the United States had long since been working on it. Technology like this can't be developed in a couple of months.
"This means they had been working at least several years on this missile. As for the rest, they just looked for a pretext to pull out and they found it. I don't believe it was a credible pretext because there were no grounds whatsoever to accuse Russia of violating anything.
"On the contrary, we were repeatedly told that the Aegis system could not be used for launching land-based intermediate range missiles. The Aegis system that is already deployed in Europe: in Romania and soon to be deployed in Poland.
"We were told no, it is not possible to use it for this purpose. And then – Bang!, they declared that Aegis launchers were used to launch intermediate range missiles. They could at least have waited a while longer. It's clear that we were being conned, or they were trying to con us. And then they owned up to it.
"Well, so be it, that's not the point. The point is that the situation has not changed for the better. In view of this escalation we said, I said immediately, that we would be doing the same but we declare from the outset that we would not deploy land-based intermediate range missiles, if we have them, unless US-made systems appear first in those regions.
"I said this about five times and there was no response – neither the US has responded so far nor has Europe, like they lost their hearing, can't hear! There are many specialists here, I don't think you need to be told something many times – I said this once, twice, five times. How many more times should I say it? There is only silence, no reaction.
"Then, suddenly, we heard from the US military that the first step in this direction would be made in Asia. But this step concerns us too, because we need to understand where in Asia? Will it reach Russian territory or not?
"By the way, you can tell what the underlying cause for their withdrawal was – it was neither Russia nor our mythical violations of the treaty. If they are set to deploy this in Asia, it's Asia that is the main reason for withdrawing from the Treaty. I think the analysts see this, and this is an obvious fact no matter how much it is played down in the media.
"We are discussing Asian problems today. We will carefully watch the next steps: where in Asia will they appear, who will be threatened? Is this good or not? It's very bad, because corresponding response measures are sure to follow.
"Will this improve the situation in Asia? No, it won't. It will only aggravate the situation, and create new threats. But I am really counting on certain possibilities for settling this situation as well before the final decisions have been taken."
We Have Practically Ratified the Paris Agreement And Are Committed To Implementing It
Tatiana Kastoueva-Jean: "Good afternoon, my name is Tatiana Kastoueva-Jean, I am an analyst at the French Institute of International Relations in Paris.
"Mr President, I have a question for you. At the beginning of your speech, you proposed outlining the shape of the future and talking about it. One serious subject, of course, is global warming, climate change.
"Russia recently ratified the Paris Climate Agreement, and you know that this topic is very important for President Emmanuel Macron. This is a priority topic for him.
"By the way, I think you and President Macron are starting a new phase in our relations; it would also be interesting to talk about this.
"But I will return to my question. In France and in Europe in general, there is some basic consensus on climate change, although recently this young girl Greta Thunberg added a lot of polarization even to this issue, where there was consensus on, in general."
Vladimir Putin: "What did she do?"
Tatiana Kastoueva-Jean: "She created further division to the debate. As for Russia, it seems to me that there has always been such a duality in relations, even in the doctrines, because Russian Environmental Security Doctrine says the right things, while the Economic Security Doctrine through 2025 says that green economic development is a threat and has risks for the Russian economy, and it is clear why: because oil and gas represent a very high percent of exports.
"It's the same thing, the same duality in the reasons for explaining climate change. Is it the result of human activity, or is it part of the Earth's global cycles?
"We see the same duality in corporate relations. Is this a chance for the future? We spoke today in the morning session about how Russia could occupy a very interesting place in the new global green economy. Or is this a risk, the loss of margins, the loss of corporate profits?
"And the same thing at the level of global rivalry (we also talked about this at the Valdai Club session) that an environmental instrument can also become an instrument for economic, commercial, and financial war in the hands of strong players?
"Do you think that Russia put an end to these doubts, hesitations and questions by ratifying this agreement? Will a new socioeconomic development paradigm emerge now at the domestic and external global levels? Will this topic be a unifying measure, or the cause of further division?"
Vladimir Putin: "As for the uniformity of approaches and evaluations, we will probably never reach this. Indeed, experts in various fields who somehow try to answer the question about the causes of climate change do not give unambiguous answers to the causes of climate change.
"There are different opinions, I have heard them. Some say there is some global change in space that affects the Earth, so from time to time huge changes like this take place on our planet. I sailed along the Lena River in our country and saw high banks with deposits containing the remains of obviously ancient tropical mammals, which lived in tropical seas. I am talking about the Lena River, its stretch north of the Arctic Circle. It means back then the climate there was like this. Well, were there any anthropogenic emissions at the time? Of course, not. You see, there is no answer.
"Just the same, my position is that if the human race is responsible for climate change, even in the slightest degree, and this climate change has grave implications, and if we can do something to, at least, slow down this process and avoid its negative consequences, we must spare no effort. This is our position. Despite all disagreements, we will support the international efforts to combat climate change.
"Indeed, we have practically ratified the Paris Agreement and are committed to implementing it. You said we hesitated or argued about it. There will always be room for doubt or disputes. But look at the obligations that we undertook and those undertaken by our partners. We are committed to cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 70 or 75 percent by 2050.
"By the way, the European Union has undertaken to cut the same type of gas emissions by 60 percent. We have approved a national environmental program. It sets forth in detail what we must do and how we must do it complete with the deadlines. We have approved 12 federal programs under the national project to work to change the situation regarding the environment. Gas emissions in 12 of the largest metropolises in our country, where they affect people's lives and have a negative impact on the environment, must be reduced by 20 percent.
"We have adopted a program to deal with waste dumps – not only with primitive rubbish dumps but with hazardous waste as well. We have adopted a program to extend protected nature areas by five million square kilometers. We have a whole set of measures that we are not just intending to carry out but we have already started to implement and they have already been made law in our country. So, we are determined to move, together with our partners, along this path that is laid down in the Paris Agreement.
"As for the hydrocarbons, I think it was yesterday that I said the structure of the Russian energy sector is one of the world's greenest. The nuclear power and hydropower industries in our country account for a third of the energy sector and gas accounts for 50 percent of the remaining two-thirds.
"We have one of the greenest energy sectors in the world plus the capacity of our forests to absorb [waste carbon dioxide]. So, we understand the threats that everyone, including us, are exposed to. The warming rate in Russia exceeds that in the rest of the world by 2.5 percent. We are aware of this.
"And one more thing: there are forests ablaze in one part of our country while close to it there is flooding and there is also drought and so on. We are well aware of this and we will do, jointly with the whole world, with the humankind, whatever it takes to preserve nature and the environment."
'How Can We Cooperate With The US When They Are So Engaged In Their Domestic Political Affairs?'
Fyodor Lukyanov: "There is a group of similar questions: Angela Stent and Jill Dougherty would like to ask the President about this, and actually this question can be addressed to all participants as well. The situation in the United States is rather complicated at the moment, and has become particularly so in the past week.
"It is hard to understand what is happening there, with domestic policy issues clearly dominating. Is it possible to build relations in such condition at all? Or maybe we should wait?
"Another similar question is from Professor Wang Wei from China. He asks you to share experience with Chinese authorities as they do not understand how they should act. Maybe you know some sort of secret – you, Mr President, and all those present?"
Vladimir Putin: "I do not think that Chinese need our advice. If they are saying they do not understand something, this means they do not want you to know they actually do. Maybe it is an advantage for them to make you think they do not understand certain things.
"In fact, I have very close and friendly relations with them, without exaggeration; we have always said this, both in public and behind the scenes. We have friendly relations with the Chinese leader, Mr Xi Jinping. China pursues a global-level policy. They understand everything, they know everything and are ready to respond to any scenario.
"As regards the developments in the United States – how can we cooperate with them when they are so engaged in their domestic political affairs? Obviously, this is always the case during an election campaign, and the United States is no exception. But this domestic political race has got a little over the top. I do not think this has ever occurred in the history of the United States before.
"But life goes on, and we should factor in the current domestic situation there. But it is simply not possible to steer clear of such a global power as the United States. We intend to do as much as the US itself is ready for."
If Some Subordinate Officials Interfere With Macron's Work, He Should Just Cut Them Down To Size, Or Replace Them
Fyodor Lukyanov: "Here is a question from Professor Pascal Boniface from France (I do not see him here but he has sent the question). When recently addressing diplomats, President Emmanuel Macron said that the so-called deep state, or some hidden powers in the administration, prevent the development of relations with Russia. He would like to accelerate this process but they hinder it.
"The question is why these hidden structures in France – and maybe somewhere else – impede the development of these relations? And why Russia, after all?"
Vladimir Putin: "What administration – the US or French?"
Fyodor Lukyanov: "The French one."
Vladimir Putin: "The French administration?"
Fyodor Lukyanov: "Yes."
Vladimir Putin: "But who is the President of France – me or Mr Macron? He is the person to put things right. Why ask me about this at all? First, I have not heard what he said and I know nothing about it. If some subordinate officials interfere with his work, he should just cut them down to size, or replace them. Bring your supporters and associates into your administration, and you will work as a team and achieve efficient results."
We Must Certainly Not Be Slow Or Lag Behind In The Development Of AI; We Have Every Chance To Excel In This Area
Fyodor Lukyanov: "We have Professor Mohan here. He has a very good question on your favourite topic, Mr President. Please pass the microphone to Professor Mohan."
C. Raja Mohan: "President Putin,
"Two years ago, you said something about artificial intelligence, what it's going to do to world politics. You said the country that is going to have the lead has the opportunity to become the new hegemon. How do you look at it two years on the road? There's one part.
"The second part is – Where is Russia in this? If the US and China are racing ahead, does Russia have a national policy where it can contribute to these true partnerships with other countries? And then, looking at the longer-term picture, is there a way Russia can contribute to the regulation creating new norms in relation to the AI both in the civil and military domains. After all, Russia did in the 20th century in relation to nuclear technologies, so your views on AI now, both in the civil and military sense."
Vladimir Putin: "First about what I said two years ago. You know, I have to admit I was only plagiarizing. Those were not my own words because experts around the world are saying that Artificial Intelligence will completely reshape the world and our approaches to solving pressing issues and problems of the future.
"Entire industries will change; some will become obsolete and new ones will emerge. New jobs will be required. Old professions will die out and we need to understand how to address resulting social problems such as the redundant workforce, etc.
"Healthcare will change completely. Artificial Intelligence will affect countries' defense capability because those who have this technology will have an advantage that is perhaps incomparable to nuclear weapons.
"What has changed? The pace of change becoming faster. Can Russia make any kind of contribution to the global efforts in developing Artificial Intelligence or, for example, genetics? Of course, it can.
"Our software developers are working everywhere in the world and working successfully. Historically, we have always had strong mathematics education – and the discipline at the root of Artificial Intelligence is first and foremost mathematics. There is technology but mathematics is still at the core.
"So what are we doing? We have an entire state program aimed at developing AI, just like in China, the United States and some other countries. We are building up our efforts. We believe that we must certainly not be slow or lag behind, and we have every chance to excel in this area.
"It would still be the best thing if efforts of the humankind are consolidated; if there are common rules for handling new technologies. Common rules of communication in this area are extremely important for the world to be stable."
'I Do Not Want To Characterize The Stalin Regime Now... This Is A Black Page In The History Of Our Country. But Saying That Stalin Started The War Is Utter Cynicism'
Fyodor Lukyanov: "Another good question. Mr Alexander Rahr, could you please ask it?"
Alexander Rahr: "Mr President, there is an odd question here, but let us get over to Europe. The European Parliament adopted a decision which I think is not quite adequate – a resolution where Nazi Germany would be set side by side with Communist Russia. And they insist that both Stalin and Hitler started World War II together.
"I think it will legitimize further NATO expansion, lead to a new schism, and, most crucially, to misunderstanding among the youth and among the people in Europe. What can be done to stop this?"
Vladimir Putin: "I do not want to characterize the Stalin regime now. You know, we all know about the repressions, camps, losses among our people, our citizens during those repressions. This is a black page in the history of our country.
"But saying that Stalin started the war is utter cynicism. As if it was the Soviet Union that attacked Germany at 4 am on June 22, and not the German troops crossed the Soviet border, violating the existing non-aggression treaty, attacked the Soviet Union unilaterally without declaring war.
"Let us not forget the sad outcome, the tragic outcome, tragic for the people of the Soviet Union: 25–27 million dead (no one has been able to make a final count to this day), and about ten million dead in Germany. This is a tragedy.
"Do not forget that it was the Soviet troops that stormed Berlin. This is regarding the speculations about certain countries' contribution to the fight against Nazism.
"I just said – the Soviet Union losses stand at 25–27 million, the US losses amount to half a million, while the UK lost 350,000–400,000 altogether.
"All major German troops (not all but the most combatant forces, both in the number and quality) were accumulated in the eastern front. For some reason there are attempts to confuse, play down and misinterpret all that.
"I think the threat is that the key thing may be lost in the process of all these manipulations: people may begin to stop fearing the recurrence of such tragedies. That is the point. And in my view all of us, all sane people, – must stand up to it."
Asian Countries Must Take The Place They Deserve In Global Politics And International Affairs
Vitaly Naumkin: "... During these four days, we have discussed various issues related to the current state of the world order, and made a firm conclusion that it is undergoing a crisis and the future global order will be established with an increasing role of Asian countries.
"How do you see this future global order?"
Vladimir Putin: "The existing system of international relations, international institutions and structures took shape following WWII as its result. The situation around the globe is changing drastically, both in Europe and on the American continent, with new rapidly growing and developing players, as well as in Africa, and, of course, Asia.
"For the existing system and its institutions to last, it has to correspond to the realities of the ever-changing world. I believe that we must not destroy what has been created in the past decades, but should gradually transform it and adapt it to these realities, with due consideration of the growing power and prospects of Asia's development in general and certain Asian countries in particular. They certainly have the right to and must take the place they deserve in global politics and international affairs."
 Kremlin.ru, October 3, 2019.
 Read Putin's article "Russia at the Turn of the Millennium", December 30, 2019.