From the Kremlin

Benjamin

Dagobah Resident
I had a closer look at this planning meeting from July 18. I had only skimmed it the first time because it was pretty dry. This time, my eye caught the mention of the 'internet of things', so I read a bit more. It's still really dry but I posted a few selections from the lengthy transcript. Read into it what you will, or don't, but the overall I got from the meeting is just how tech minded Russia is.

Meeting of Council for Strategic Development and National Projects


Vladimir Putin chaired a videoconference meeting of the Presidential Council for Strategic Development and National Projects.

July 18, 2022
16:50

Novo-Ogaryovo, Moscow Region


President of Russia Vladimir Putin: ...

As you know, large domestic corporations have become key participants in such projects. The Government and companies started actively working in this regard in 2020. Of course, there are positive results. I would like to specifically mention the progress achieved by Sberbank in artificial intelligence, the achievements of Russian Railways in quantum communications, and the successes of Rosatom in composite materials.
...
Rostec has shown modest results in its areas of responsibility. I know, my colleagues will start talking about lack of funds or something but I am simply stating the facts about what is happening today with the projects on creating the fifth generation networks and the development of equipment for large-scale implementation of the Internet of Things. As for the project on developing microelectronics, it had to be completely reloaded last year.
...
Considering the current requirements of our economy, we must set forth more ambitious targets. As I have already said, I would like to ask the Prime Minister to take special responsibility for the implementation of high-tech areas – as has already happened in the case of microelectronics. The first steps have been made and I hope the work will soon become more intensive.

An exclusive reliance on public companies does not always produce the desired effect, as always happens, of course, in a market economy. I consider it important to involve private businesses in the projects on developing end-to-end technology.

The second direction is large-scale digital transformation. It must permeate every industry, company, the social sphere and the system of government and municipal administration. It must become part of life of every person and every family.
...

First Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov: ...

As a reminder, developing end-to-end technology that forms the framework of a new technological order is the subject of these agreements. This includes artificial intelligence, microelectronics, quantum communications and quantum computing, innovative materials, genetic technologies, hydrogen energy, wireless communications, distributed intelligent energy systems and energy storage, and a number of other technologies. There are 16 of them in all.
...
Overall, meaningful results have been achieved in a number of areas in the form of newly created technologies that had been brought to the level of industrial designs and the manufacturing of new products. In some of them, Russia has reached parity or enjoys a leading position among the leading countries.

These include a number of AI technologies, especially the ones related to algorithms, with Sberbank and RDIF being the leading companies; innovative material technology, Rosatom; quantum computing, Rosatom; quantum communications, Russian Railways; online communication technology, Rostelecom; and genetic technology, Rosneft.

At the same time, the substantive implementation of a number of agreements, as, in fact, you, Mr President, have noted, has not yet begun. This applies primarily to areas such as creating heavy software in Rostec’s area of responsibility, industrial internet of things – sensors and quantum sensors – also Rostec, and energy transmission technology.
...
 

Benjamin

Dagobah Resident
This was just a regional meeting but I posted this part for the environmental aspect.

The Astrakhan Region is located here:

Astrakhan Region.jpg

Meeting with Astrakhan Region Governor Igor Babushkin


The Governor of the Astrakhan Region reported to the President on the region’s development.

July 27, 2022
13:45

The Kremlin, Moscow

...
The Governor added that the volume of investment in agricultural production amounted to 63.6 billion rubles in monetary terms this year. Investors are investing in the traditional cultivation of fruits and vegetables. Two crops of potatoes are harvested in the region, tomatoes are grown, investors put money into subsequent processing. Rice growing is being revived, agricultural producers are investing in the restoration of [rice] bays and reclamation systems that were previously abandoned. The region still ranks first in Russia in terms of the harvest of fruit and vegetables grown in open ground.

Vladimir Putin reminded the Governor that there was also a problem: desertification of agricultural land. According to the Governor, the problem is global. The Russian Government is already making a decision: a centre has been established in Volgograd. This problem is typical for the Astrakhan Region and its neighbours: the Volgograd Region, the Republic of Kalmykia, and the Republic of Daghestan. Igor Babushkin believes that today it is necessary to move on to scientific, technological and phytomeliorative solutions to this problem.

Measurements of the level of the Volga were also discussed. The Governor noted that today the level is quite good. Last year, the shallowing was considerable, to a degree that both melioration and water supply for remote villages were difficult. Today the situation is quite stable. The flood period has been monitored for three years in order to ensure the conditions necessary for both fish reproduction and agricultural irrigation.
...

[Phytomelioration- aka: erosion control measures]

A quick understanding of Phytomelioration can be found from this downloadable PDF. It's just a 5-page sampler of a larger article that looks like it came from the All Russian Research Institute for Agriculture Use of Reclaimed Lands, Kalinin, Russia. This part defines the concept:

...
The concept of phytomelioration is based on the ability that natural communities have to assimilate material and energy—to accumulate organic matter in soil and to recycle solar energy. This concept provides harmonious development and interaction of natural, biological, technogenic, economic and information factors. Phytomelioration is a major component of long-term ecologically balanced strategies for wildlife management directed at increasing the capacity of agro-phytocenoses and agro-ecosystems for
maintenance of ecological equilibrium. This balance is reached by increase of the genetic variation of biological components (including cultivated and wild species, soil animals and micro-organisms).

Phytomelioration is always focused on increase of biological efficiency, stability and optimization of the structural and functional organization of agro-landscapes. It is thus a science, a technology and a branch of agriculture. As a science, phytomelioration systematizes the facts, has specific methods of research, encompasses experiments and reproduces the results of research. As a technology, phytomelioration is a system of ecologically-, biologically- and biotechnologically-proven methods and treatments directed at the reclaiming potential on all components of agro-biocenoses and agrolandscape— atmosphere, soil, micro-organisms, flora and fauna.

As a branch of agriculture, phytomelioration is a system of biotechnological and organizational measures directed at improvement of the meliorative condition of land, improvement of soil fertility, and optimization of the structural and functional organization of agro-landscapes.
...
 

Benjamin

Dagobah Resident
This is just another regional meeting but this little section is quite illuminating as to what can be done when a group of people become engaged in an important act of humanity. Of course, the timeline is still an estimate. However, it is beyond impressive, given the scope, if completed.

Meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin


Marat Khusnullin reported to the President on the situation in housing and road construction and in low-interest mortgage lending. The Deputy Prime Minister also spoke in detail about plans and ongoing efforts to rebuild Mariupol and various other facilities in the Lugansk and Donetsk people’s republics.

July 29, 2022
13:30

Novo-Ogaryovo, Moscow Region

Marat Khusnullin: ...

We continue to provide humanitarian aid to the Donetsk and Lugansk republics. Of course, here, Mr President, I would like to consult with you and would like to offer you this concept: a master plan for the development of Mariupol. We completed it in line with your instructions. Here you have the gist. In fact, we have already written 100 pages in great detail on how we will rebuild Mariupol by year.

I can say that we will be able to fully rebuild the city in three years under the plan that is shown here.
In addition to this, we provided a detailed plan for the construction of residential buildings, renovations and current repairs; the next slide shows all social infrastructure facilities. I can say that this year we will reconstruct 90 social infrastructure facilities such as kindergartens, schools, hospitals – we will rebuild everything. We have shown the progress by year: 2022, 2023, 2024, 2025, 2030, 2035.

We have some new ideas – we have changed the boundaries of the plans and suggest including the airport in it. We are also starting to rebuild it now.
...
 

Benjamin

Dagobah Resident
While this transcript is basically an overview of what is going to be on display at said forum (military stuff mostly, but not exclusively), there was a new addition (announced back in March: see Joan's post) at the end that is finally going to emerge. It'll be interesting to see what it entails... and, maybe, if anything (like documents perhaps?) is revealed?


Visit to Patriot military-patriotic park


Vladimir Putin spoke at the opening ceremony of the Army-2022 International Military-Technical Forum and the International Army Games 2022. The forum is taking place at the military-patriotic park of recreation and leisure of the Russian Federation Armed Forces Patriot.

August 15, 2022
15:10

Moscow Region

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: ... I would like to emphasise that Russia stands for the broadest, comprehensive development of military-technical cooperation. This is particularly important today in the context of the emerging multipolar world.

We highly value the existence of many allies, partners and likeminded people on different continents. These are states that do not bow to the so-called hegemon. Their leaders are displaying a genuine masculine character and do not bow. They are choosing a sovereign, independent road of development. They want to resolve all global and regional security issues collectively on the basis of international law, mutual responsibility and consideration of each other’s interests, thereby contributing to the defence of the multipolar world.

...

The forum gives foreign military experts a good opportunity to learn about the development in the Russian defence industry of such areas as the use of artificial intelligence, modern information and radio-electronic technology and the implementation of the latest achievements by our world-renowned design bureaux and schools.

Future-oriented advanced models and systems that will shape “tomorrow” of our Armed Forces are of special interest. We are talking about high-precision weapons and robotics, combat systems based on new physical principles. Many of them are years, perhaps even decades ahead of their foreign counterparts, and significantly superior in terms of tactical and technical characteristics. Displays at Patriot Park, presentations at military training grounds, demonstrations of developments at ERA Technopolis convincingly prove this.

...

The International Anti-Fascist Congress held as part of the forum is of great social and political importance. The lessons of the terrible tragedy to which Nazism led mankind in the 20th century must not be forgotten. Our duty to the memory of the millions of victims of the Second World War is to respond harshly to any attempts to falsify history, to counteract the spread of any form of neo-Nazism, Russophobia and racism.

Shoigu: The first International Anti-Fascist Congress is being prepared in Russia

Date: August 16, 2022 Time: 12:26:57

...

The minister noted that a series of major military-patriotic projects will be carried out against attempts to falsify history and distort the truth about the decisive contribution of the Soviet Union to the defeat of Nazi Germany. One of them will be the First International Anti-Fascist Congress. It was decided to hold it in August during the days of the Army-2022 forum in Patriot Park.

“The purpose of the congress is to unite the efforts of the international community in the fight against the ideology of neo-Nazism and any form of its manifestations,” Shoigu emphasized.
...

Another link to an opinion piece from back in March.
 

Benjamin

Dagobah Resident
This opening speech is basically a summery of events that are well known, a general overview (and conclusion) of monopolarism and the emergence of multipolarism. A solid read. No highlighting. 10 mins.


Here is the video address with automated voice translation. The video on the Kremlin site is spoken Russian only.


Address to participants and guests of the 10th Moscow Conference on International Security

August 16, 2022
10:05

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Ladies and gentlemen,

Esteemed foreign guests,

Let me welcome you to the anniversary 10th Moscow Conference on International Security. Over the past decade, your representative forum has become a significant venue for discussing the most pressing military-political problems.

Today, such an open discussion is particularly pertinent. The situation in the world is changing dynamically and the outlines of a multipolar world order are taking shape. An increasing number of countries and peoples are choosing a path of free and sovereign development based on their own distinct identity, traditions and values.

These objective processes are being opposed by the Western globalist elites, who provoke chaos, fanning long-standing and new conflicts and pursuing the so-called containment policy, which in fact amounts to the subversion of any alternative, sovereign development options. Thus, they are doing all they can to keep hold onto the hegemony and power that are slipping from their hands; they are attempting to retain countries and peoples in the grip of what is essentially a neocolonial order. Their hegemony means stagnation for the rest of the world and for the entire civilisation; it means obscurantism [a policy of withholding information from the public], cancellation of culture, and neoliberal totalitarianism.

They are using all expedients. The United States and its vassals grossly interfere in the internal affairs of sovereign states by staging provocations, organising coups, or inciting civil wars. By threats, blackmail, and pressure, they are trying to force independent states to submit to their will and follow rules that are alien to them. This is being done with just one aim in view, which is to preserve their domination, the centuries-old model that enables them to sponge on everything in the world. But a model of this sort can only be retained by force.

This is why the collective West – the so-called collective West – is deliberately undermining the European security system and knocking together ever new military alliances. NATO is crawling east and building up its military infrastructure. Among other things, it is deploying missile defence systems and enhancing the strike capabilities of its offensive forces. This is hypocritically attributed to the need to strengthen security in Europe, but in fact quite the opposite is taking place. Moreover, the proposals on mutual security measures, which Russia put forward last December, were once again disregarded.

They need conflicts to retain their hegemony. It is for this reason that they have destined the Ukrainian people to being used as cannon fodder. They have implemented the anti-Russia project and connived at the dissemination of the neo-Nazi ideology. They looked the other way when residents of Donbass were killed in their thousands and continued to pour weapons, including heavy weapons, for use by the Kiev regime, something that they persist in doing now.

Under these circumstances, we have taken the decision to conduct a special military operation in Ukraine, a decision which is in full conformity with the Charter of the United Nations. It has been clearly spelled out that the aims of this operation are to ensure the security of Russia and its citizens and protect the residents of Donbass from genocide.

The situation in Ukraine shows that the United States is attempting to draw out this conflict. It acts in the same way elsewhere, fomenting the conflict potential in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. As is common knowledge, the US has recently made another deliberate attempt to fuel the flames and stir up trouble in the Asia-Pacific. The US escapade towards Taiwan is not just a voyage by an irresponsible politician [US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Aug. 5, 2022, with a second trip of a 5 member group of US lawmakers on Aug. 14, 2022], but part of the purpose-oriented and deliberate US strategy designed to destabilise the situation and sow chaos in the region and the world. It is a brazen demonstration of disrespect for other countries and their own international commitments. We regard this as a thoroughly planned provocation.

It is clear that by taking these actions the Western globalist elites are attempting, among other things, to divert the attention of their own citizens from pressing socioeconomic problems, such as plummeting living standards, unemployment, poverty, and deindustrialisation. They want to shift the blame for their own failures to other countries, namely Russia and China, which are defending their point of view and designing a sovereign development policy without submitting to the diktat of the supranational elites.

We also see that the collective West is striving to expand its bloc-based system to the Asia-Pacific region, like it did with NATO in Europe. To this end, they are creating aggressive military-political unions such as AUKUS and others.

It is obvious that it is only possible to reduce tensions in the world, overcome military-political threats and risks, improve trust between countries and ensure their sustainable development through a radical strengthening of the contemporary system of a multipolar world.

I reiterate that the era of the unipolar world is becoming a thing of the past. No matter how strongly the beneficiaries of the current globalist model cling to the familiar state of affairs, it is doomed. The historic geopolitical changes are going in a totally different direction.

And, of course, your conference is another important proof of the objective processes forming a multipolar world, bringing together representatives from many countries who want to discuss security issues on an equal footing, and conduct a dialogue that takes into account the interests of all parties, without exception.

I want to emphasise that the multipolar world, based on international law and more just relations, opens up new opportunities for counteracting common threats, such as regional conflicts and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, terrorism and cybercrime. All these challenges are global, and therefore it would be impossible to overcome them without combining the efforts and potentials of all states.

As before, Russia will actively and assertively participate in such coordinated joint efforts; together with its allies, partners and fellow thinkers, it will improve the existing mechanisms of international security and create new ones, as well as consistently strengthen the national armed forces and other security structures by providing them with advanced weapons and military equipment. Russia will secure its national interests, as well as the protection of its allies, and take other steps towards building of a more democratic world where the rights of all peoples and cultural and civilisational diversity are guaranteed.

We need to restore respect for international law, for its fundamental norms and principles. And, of course, it is important to promote such universal and commonly acknowledged agencies as the United Nations and other international dialogue platforms. The UN Security Council and the General Assembly, as it was intended initially, are supposed to serve as effective tools to reduce international tensions and prevent conflicts, as well as facilitate the provision of reliable security and wellbeing of countries and peoples.

In conclusion, I want to thank the conference organisers for their major preparatory work and I wish all participants substantial discussions.

I am sure that the forum will continue to make a significant contribution to the strengthening of peace and stability on our planet and facilitate the development of constructive dialogue and partnership.

Thank you for your attention.
 

Benjamin

Dagobah Resident
This is just a meeting with the governor of Vladimir region. I posted this only because of the upcoming celebration of the city of Suzdal's 1000th anniversary in 2024. It is one of Russia's oldest towns (formed around 999-1024) and is the smallest (2010 census: 10,535) of the Golden Ring towns. A town still in operation after 1000 years is quite a milestone! Interestingly, Suzdal is twinned (sister city) with seven cities around the world, two of which are in the US: Oberlin, Ohio (1991) and Windham, New Hampshire (1992).

The next part was a regional problem that kinda stuck out.

Meeting with Vladimir Region Acting Governor Alexander Avdeyev


The President held a meeting, via videoconference, with Acting Governor of the Vladimir Region Alexander Avdeyev. The officials discussed the region’s socioeconomic development.

August 17, 2022
13:50

Novo-Ogaryovo, Moscow Region

... Suzdal is preparing for its 1,000th anniversary celebrations in 2024. Taking the opportunity, Mr Avdeyev invited the President to visit Suzdal in the year of its 1000th anniversary.

...

Noting that the region’s main performance indicators were acceptable and the trends were good, Vladimir Putin pointed out that alcoholism and alcoholic psychosis incidence in the region was 122.6 cases per 100,000 in 2021, which exceeds the average across the country 2.6 times. Stressing that Avdeyev is a very experienced person with a brilliant education in many areas, and extensive expertise, the President said this problem needed to be dealt with in ways other than by raising alcohol prices, excise taxes and so on. There are simpler but equally effective options, such as promoting a healthy lifestyle, developing infrastructure for sports and cultural activities, creating the right conditions for people to visit them, and fostering interest in culture. There was work to do here, the President said, especially with the region being one of the citadels of Russian culture in the literal sense of the word.

The 'Oberlin' link had this to say about the 'sister city' program:

The sister city program was established to promote peace, good-will, and a better understanding of different people and their cultures. Cities that are "paired" have something in common with each other.

From the 'Windham' link above, the page talks about its sister city, Suzdal. I found this part quite interesting:

Goal of the Committee​

The goal of the Committee is to encourage exchanges between Windham and Suzdal- business, cultural, educational, medical, political, environmental and sports related. To promote Suzdal as a tourist destination. To specifically support the needs of the children in the Suzdal orphanages. To foster friendships which will carry over into future generations.

Has anything changed since that was posted, I wonder? The page is still up so I assume the 'goal' still applies.

Following the link under the "Learn More" heading is a list of PDF reports. The last one posted from 2020 has this printed within:

Because of computer access, we are able to keep in touch easily with our friends there. Many young people who visited Windham as students keep us updated on their lives. Many are parents now and share their children with us digitally.

We cherish our almost 30year relationship with Suzdal, Russia and her wonderful people. Suzdal has Sister Cities in other countries and it was fun to be there in 1999, with delegations from Germany and Portugal. Perhaps in 2024, we can all be together again.

Well, that's hard to say right now.
 
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Benjamin

Dagobah Resident
I'm well into FPtM but stopped and took a side path to read When Zarathurstra Spoke. It's a library book and has a time limit. But I need to catch up a little here.

Well, at least they're speaking again and apparently will continue to do so. The last time they spoke (officially) was on May 28, 2022.

Telephone conversation with President of France Emmanuel Macron


Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with President of the French Republic Emmanuel Macron, at the French side’s initiative.

August 19, 2022
16:45

The discussion focused on various aspects of the situation around Ukraine. Vladimir Putin, in particular, stressed that the regular strikes on the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant by the Ukrainian military creates the danger of a major nuclear disaster that could lead to radiation contamination of vast territories.

Both leaders noted the importance of sending an IAEA mission to the power plant as soon as possible to allow experts to assess the situation on the ground. The Russian side confirmed its readiness to provide the necessary assistance to the agency's inspectors.

Vladimir Putin also reminded the other party that Russia had invited experts from the UN Secretariat and the International Committee of the Red Cross to visit the pre-trial detention centre in Yelenovka, where a large number of Ukrainian prisoners of war died following a missile strike by the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

The President of Russia also informed the French leader about the progress of the package deal signed on July 22 in Istanbul to facilitate the export of Ukrainian grain from Black Sea ports and the export of Russian food and fertilisers to world markets. He pointed out the remaining obstacles to the above Russian exports, adding that the situation is doing little to resolve global food security problems.

The presidents of Russia and France agreed to maintain contact on the issues raised.

A few selections regarding the upcoming elections in Russia. Cybersecurity, fake news, number of candidates (only 3% have been rejected), and the unity of the candidates despite individual differences is mentioned here.

Meeting with Central Election Commission Chairperson Ella Pamfilova


Vladimir Putin had a working meeting with Chairperson of the Central Election Commission Ella Pamfilova. She briefed the President on preparations for the upcoming election campaign.

August 19, 2022
20:00
Sochi

...
Chairperson of the Central Election Commission Ella Pamfilova: ... Despite all the current challenges, we still consistently defend our main principle – that elections should be as open and transparent as possible. I want to honestly say that our transparency and openness is much higher than in those unfriendly countries that consider themselves democratic. That is the truth.

...

Vladimir Putin: And the objectivity of voting is ensured.

Ella Pamfilova: Yes, of course. This is our main goal.

I would like to note that while using all these numerous services we have to consider cyberattacks and cybersecurity threats, which are constantly occurring, plus our unfriendly, so to say…

Vladimir Putin: Opponents.

Ella Pamfilova: Yes, opponents, even though they see us as an enemy and an adversary. Their numerous pro-Western anti-Russian organisations as well as the controlled media are spreading all sorts of fake news. This has been the case until now and will only continue to increase. We are aware of this and are taking efforts, mostly successfully but sometimes we receive blows; yet, we can expect where they will attack us next time and take preventive measures.

...

Vladimir Putin: About 4,700 campaigns and referendums are expected?

Ella Pamfilova: Yes. Only three regions will not hold any elections at all. We have elections of highest officials in 18 regions plus elections to legislative assemblies in six regions. Municipal elections will take place in 11 regional centres, and so on. This is a massive campaign in any case.

Vladimir Putin: I have checked, over 70,500 candidates have already been registered.

Ella Pamfilova
: That’s right. ...

...

Ella Pamfilova: ... Speaking of the most important thing as regards our parties: despite political, ideological, social, economic and other differences, they all – maybe except a single insignificant exception – have turned out to be united in expressing support of the special military operation and their willingness to make a feasible contribution to our victory, our inevitable victory, because the truth is on our side, justice is on our side, and all sensible people are sure of this. This is very important. Basically, everyone understands that people’s unity is now more important than it has ever been. It is important for all of us to pull ourselves together in order to defeat those who have practically led mankind to a dead end and deprived it of any possibility of natural development. That is, mankind is left with only one path: a path of degradation. And it is obvious that Russia is leading the way out of this impasse, and all people, not only in Russia, many people understand this. I think this is our strength. And I want to thank the representatives of our political parties for being united.

First, we must win and then look into the nuances and things that separate us.

Vladimir Putin: In order for us to feel confident, first of all we must have a strong foundation: a reliable, developing democratic political system. Hopefully, the elections will contribute to this, I have no doubt about it. ...

...

Ella Pamfilova: ... If I may, I would like to mention once again that we stay focused despite all this, as blows come one after another. I would like to provide an example of the recent joint “creative efforts” from those who left Russia and found themselves a hideout in the former Soviet Baltic republics, which turned into an anti-Russian viper’s nest, and in similar countries (and I mean that they act like servants of these countries). Together with those who stayed in our country – who are acting more cautiously, but acting nonetheless – they have launched a massive fake news campaign, hoping that it will serve as a catalyst for long-term processes

Vladimir Putin: What kind of fake news?

Ella Pamfilova: You know, I initially thought they would target the upcoming campaign, and then they would build up their efforts during the presidential campaign. But instead, they targeted the previous campaign and decided to plant information claiming that deputies are illegitimate and the signed agreements with the Lugansk and Donetsk people’s republics have no force. They went too far. But this bubble burst instantly as even experts, who are rather critical of us, were simply appalled. I believe there are going to be many such bubbles, but I am confident we will overcome this.

Vladimir Putin: I have no doubt. And of course, all candidates need to be treated objectively.


Putin also awarded Darya Dugina, posthumously, the Order of Courage.

Condolences to Alexander Dugin and Natalia Melentyeva


Vladimir Putin expressed his condolences to Alexander Dugin and Natalia Melentyeva on the death of their daughter Darya Dugina.

August 22, 2022
16:05

The message reads, in part:

A vile, cruel crime cut short the life of Darya Dugina, a bright, talented person with a true Russian heart, kind, loving, sympathetic and open. Journalist, scientist, philosopher, and war correspondent, she honestly served the people and the Fatherland, and proved by deed what it means to be a patriot of Russia.”

Finally a short update on the Russian banking system.

Meeting with VEB.RF State Development Corporation Chairman Igor Shuvalov


Chairman of the State Development Corporation VEB.RF Igor Shuvalov informed the President about the priority areas of the bank’s operations amidst the external sanction pressure.

August 23, 2022
14:15

The Kremlin, Moscow

Chairman of the State Development Corporation VEB.RF Igor Shuvalov: Thank you, Mr President.

The conditions today are challenging. Since February and the large-scale sanctions against the Russian banking sector, we essentially had to build the infrastructure for cooperating with banks and customers from scratch. But we succeeded. And I want to report that as of now, we have fully established cooperation with Russian and several foreign banks as well as with our clients.

It is no secret that clients often fear secondary sanctions. We managed to resolve this problem using the data transfer system provided by the Central Bank. We often provided services in dollars and euros, especially when transactions concerned export or import. Now we operate exclusively in rubles. We also operate with the currencies of friendly countries but we conduct no euro or dollar transactions.

There is great interest in the Central Bank’s data transfer system. By the way, even before the sanctions, we promoted this system, guided by the principles of partnership in the SCO’s inter-bank association when Russia presided in the SCO. Several countries, including some members of the EAEU, accepted the system.
 

Benjamin

Dagobah Resident
Catching up.

Here is a video of the EEF session with subtitles. (3:35:23)


Here are selections of Putin's opening address:

Eastern Economic Forum plenary session


The President took part in a plenary session of the Eastern Economic Forum. The theme this year is On the Path to a Multipolar World.

September 7, 2022
12:40

Russky Island, Primorye Territory

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: ...

However, the pandemic has given way to new challenges, global ones that are threatening the world as a whole. I am referring to the Western sanctions frenzy and the open and aggressive attempts to force the Western mode of behaviour on other countries, to extinguish their sovereignty and to bend them to its will. In fact, there is nothing unusual in that: this policy has been pursued by the “collective West” for decades.

The waning dominance of the United States in the global economy and politics, as well as the stubborn unwillingness or even inability of the Western elites to see, let alone recognise objective facts, acted as a catalyst for these processes.

I have already mentioned that the entire system of international relations has recently undergone irreversible, or should I say, tectonic, shifts.
Emerging states and regions around the world, primarily, of course, in the Asia-Pacific region, now play a substantially bigger role. Asia-Pacific countries emerged as new centres of economic and technological growth, attracting human resources, capital and manufacturing.

Despite all that, the Western countries are seeking to preserve yesterday’s world order that benefits them and force everyone to live according to the infamous “rules”, which they concocted themselves. They are also the ones who regularly violate these rules, changing them to suit their agenda depending on how things are going at any given moment. At the same time, other countries have not been forthcoming when it comes to subjecting themselves to this dictate and arbitrary rule, forcing the Western elites, to put it bluntly, to lose grip and take short-sighted, irrational decisions on global security, politics, as well as economics. All these decisions run counter to the interests of countries and their people, including, by the way, the people in those Western countries. The gap separating the Western elites from their own citizens is widening.

Europe is about to throw its achievements in building up its manufacturing capability, the quality of life of its people and socioeconomic stability into the sanctions furnace, depleting its potential, as directed by Washington for the sake of the infamous Euro-Atlantic unity. In fact, this amounts to sacrifices in the name of preserving the dominance of the United States in global affairs.

Back in spring, many foreign corporations rushed to announce their withdrawal from Russia, believing that our country will suffer more than others. Today, we see one manufacturing site after another shutting down in Europe itself. One of the key reasons, of course, lies in the severed business ties with Russia.

The competitive ability of European companies is in decline, for the EU officials themselves are essentially cutting them off from affordable commodities and energy, as well as trade markets. It will come as no surprise if eventually the niches currently occupied by European businesses, both on the continent and on the global market in general, will be taken over by their American patrons who know no boundaries or hesitation when it comes to pursuing their interests and achieving their goals.

More than that, in an attempt to obstruct the course of history, Western countries have undermined the pillars of the global economic system, built over centuries. It is in front of our eyes that the dollar, euro and pound sterling have lost trust as currencies suitable for performing transactions, storing reserves and denominating assets. We are taking steps to shed this dependence on unreliable and compromised foreign currencies. By the way, even allies of the United States are gradually reducing their dollar assets, as we can see from statistics. Step by step, the volume of transactions and savings in dollars is diminishing.

...

Everybody is aware of this but I will reiterate: as of late July, inflation in the United States reached 8.5 percent. Russia has just over 14 percent (I will speak about this further) but it is declining, unlike in Western economies. ... Meanwhile, what is happening with our neighbours? The inflation in Germany has reached 7.9 percent, in Belgium 9.9 percent, in the Netherlands 12 percent, Latvia 20.8 percent, Lithuania 21.1 percent and Estonia 25.2 percent. And it is still on the rise.

Rising prices in the global markets can be a real tragedy for most of the poorest countries, which are facing shortages of food, energy, and other vital goods. I will cite a few figures that underline the danger: while in 2019, according to the UN, 135 million people in the world were facing acute food insecurity, their number has soared by 2.5 times to 345 million by now – this is just horrible. Moreover, the poorest states have completely lost access to the most essential foods as developed countries are buying up the entire supply, causing a sharp increase in prices.

... Most of the ships – you all know very well how high passions have been running, how much has been said about the need to facilitate the export of Ukrainian grain at all costs, to support the poorest countries. ... I met with the leaders of the African Union, with the leaders of African states and I promised them that we would make every effort to uphold their interests and would facilitate the export of Ukrainian grain.

Russia did it together with Turkiye. We did it. And I would like to report the result to you, colleagues: if we exclude Turkiye as an intermediary, all the grain exported from Ukraine, almost in its entirety, went to the European Union, not to the developing and poorest countries. Only two ships delivered grain under the UN World Food Programme – the very programme that is supposed to help countries that need help the most – only two ships out of 87 – I emphasise – transported 60,000 tonnes out of 2 million tonnes of food. That's just 3 percent, and it went to the developing countries.

What I am saying is, many European countries today continue to act as colonisers, exactly as they have been doing in previous decades and centuries. Developing countries have simply been cheated yet again and continue to be cheated.

...

I would like to stress once again that this situation has been caused by the reckless steps taken by the United States, the UK and the European Union, which are obsessed with illusory political ideas. As for the wellbeing of their own citizens, let alone people outside the so-called golden billion, they have been pushing it to the backburner. This will inevitably lead Western countries into a deadlock, an economic and social crisis, and will have unpredictable consequences for the whole world.

...

Russia is a sovereign state. We will always protect our national interests while pursuing an independent policy, and we also appreciate this quality among our partners, who have demonstrated their reliability and responsible attitude in the course of our trade, investment and other types of cooperation over many years.

...

... but I would like to remind everyone that over the past 10 years Asian countries’ GDP has been increasing by approximately 5 percent every year, while the figure is 3 percent in the world, 2 percent in the US and 1.2 percent in the EU. But it is even more important that this trend persists. What will this ultimately lead to? As a result, the share of Asian economies in global GDP will grow from 37.1 percent in 2015 to 45 percent in 2027, and I am sure that this trend will persist.

...

We have already protected the resource extraction industry from unfriendly actions. From now on, only companies with Russian jurisdiction have the right to develop natural resources in Russia.

...

It is noteworthy that despite the attempts of external pressure, the total cargo of Russian seaports has only slightly decreased over the seven months of this year; it has remained at the same level as a year earlier, which is about 482 million tonnes of cargo. Last year there were 483 million, so the figure is practically the same.

At the same time, Far Eastern ports are seeing a real logistics boom. The volume of cargo transhipment and container handling is such that specialists are working 24/7 to handle the workload. In a word, no matter how much someone might like to isolate Russia, it is impossible to do it, as we have always said so. It is enough just to look at the map.

...

The Q&A section followed.

Here, Putin talks about sanctions in regard to the shipping of grain.
Ilya Doronov: ... It looks like we reached an agreement, with certain concessions, and now it turns out that, first, we are not allowed to export grain ourselves, and second, only two ships with grain have actually made it to Africa. Our Permanent Representative to the UN said today that Russia may even consider withdrawing from the deal. The deal is supposed to end in November.

Vladimir Putin: Officially, the sanctions on our fertilisers and food have been lifted, but in reality certain restrictions remain. This is a complicated and insidious situation. It appears that there are no direct sanctions affecting our products, and yet there are restrictions concerning logistics, chartering ships, money transfers and insurance. Many of these restrictions persist, although credit should be given to the efforts of the UN Secretary-General and the United Nations in general: when it comes to chartering ships, many restrictions are being lifted despite the sanctions imposed on the ports we ship cargo from. Nevertheless, this sector is being released from the restrictions and the vessels can already call at our ports. So, the situation is improving.

There are still certain restrictions that prevent us from ensuring that the interests of all consumers in global food markets are being served. As a result, prices on the global markets are going up. But we hope that the remaining restrictions will be lifted. This is the first point.

Second. You may remember my meetings with our friends in Africa and African organisations. As I said in my speech, we promised to do everything we could to serve the interests of the developing countries – specifically, by ensuring supplies to their markets, including supplies of Ukrainian grain. When we discussed this, that was the understanding.

What we see is more audacious deceit. And they did not deceive us: they deceived the international community, their partners in Africa and other countries that desperately needed food. It is a con job, impudence and disgraceful conduct towards the partners who were supposed to benefit from the deal. It was a hoax, see?

Putin describes what Russia's idea of multipolarity is and follows up with examples of double-standards towards international law.
Ilya Doronov: Mr President, you have a question following Mr Pashinyan’s speech. He said that everyone wanted peace but everyone has their own idea of the world and their own idea of multipolarity. This is the very topic of our forum. What is Russia’s idea of the world and multipolarity?

Vladimir Putin:
We have said this many times, and I can reaffirm it. Our idea of multipolarity and the world is that the world should be much more just, the world should not be based on the dictates of a country that imagines itself to be the representative of God on earth, and perhaps even higher, and bases all its policies on its alleged exceptionalism.

We have to respect other countries’ interests and treat them as equal regardless of the size of their territory, their GDP or whether their army has advanced weapons. The foundation must be the principles of international law and not some rules that someone comes up with.

This is how you get justice, this is how you get a stable world order.
This has always been our foundation, and will continue to be, and we will fight for our sovereignty. Let no one doubt that we are ready to cooperate with any state that wants to under these conditions, and we will do so. I believe everything will work out that way in the end, and everything will return to normal.

Ilya Doronov: If I could make a clarification just now. You are saying that everyone is free to choose everything, that international law is valuable. Why then do we fail to solve some problems peacefully?

Vladimir Putin:
Because international law is always violated.

Today many say that Russia violates international law. I believe that this does not correspond to reality in any way.

Who started the war in Iraq without permission from the United Nations? Who destroyed Yugoslavia under specious pretexts? Who did that? Who unleashed a war in the centre of Europe by bombing Belgrade? No one remembered the principles of international law back then.

I will share a straightforward line of reasoning, related to international law, to prove the validity of our actions.

The UN Charter has a provision about the right of nations to self-determination. During the Kosovo crisis, the International Court of Justice ruled that if a portion of a territory, a portion of a country chooses to declare independence, it does not have to ask the central government of that country for permission. This was the case of Kosovo.

Is the situation with the Donetsk Republic and the Lugansk Republic not the same? It is the same.
Since they have this right – and they do have it in accordance with the UN Charter and the right to self-determination – they exercised it and declared independence. Do they have this right under international law and the UN Charter? They do, and this right is reiterated by the corresponding UN Court ruling in relation to Kosovo. It is a precedent.

If they have this right, which they exercised, do we or any other country have the right to recognise them? We do. So, we recognised them. If we recognised them, can we conclude an international treaty of friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance with them? Of course, we can. And we did. This treaty was ratified by the parliament of the Russian Federation and their respective parliaments, and Russia has certain obligations under it, such as coming to their aid, including in the event of aggression.

In this case, the aggression came from the Kiev regime, which, in fact, is illegitimate, because it is built atop a coup, which is the ultimate source of power in Ukraine today.

This is what we are doing. Is this consistent with the UN Charter? It is.
There is Article 51 of the UN Charter which covers defence and self-defence. As a party to this treaty and in accordance with this clause and this article of the UN Charter, we have an obligation to provide assistance to our allies. This is what we are doing.

Here is a straightforward line of reasoning that fully conforms with international law. That is all there is to it. Was the situation the same, say, in Iraq? They bombed that country and smashed it. The same thing happened in Libya which was smashed as well. Where is international law? It is nowhere to be seen.

Everyone who is doing this is fully aware that this is not consistent with international law. That is why they keep talking about some far-fetched rules. What rules? What have they come up with? Where have they picked them out from, these rules?
Let them live by these rules themselves.

A short LNG story and American pragmatism towards profits.
... Of course, the European market [for liquefied natural gas] has always been considered a premium market, but the international situation is rapidly changing, and it recently lost its premium status with the onset of the Ukraine crisis. Even the Europeans’ US partners have redirected their LNG tankers to Asian countries.

Ilya Doronov
: Because it can be sold at a premium there.

Vladimir Putin: Including to China. Just because they can sell it for more money there, as simple as that. Americans are very pragmatic people.

They waged a war against one of our LNG projects in the Arctic
, and I will not point to the executives of this [LNG] enterprise, but the first tanker carrying LNG from this field and from this enterprise sailed to the United States, because it was a profitable deal.

When Mr Mikhelson shared this story with me, my first reaction was disbelief. I said, come on, this cannot be true. He said it was true. I asked him why and the answer was because it was a good deal and they bought it right away. They are pragmatic people, and we can learn from them in this regard.

European gas prices and what capping will do.
Ilya Doronov: Will price caps on gas be a heavy blow on us?

Vladimir Putin: Well, this is yet more stupidity, one more non-market decision without any prospects. All administrative restrictions in global trade lead only to disproportions and price hikes. What is happening now in European markets is the result of the work done by European specialists and the European Commission. We always insisted that prices be formed based on long-term contracts and be tied to the same market category as prices on oil and oil products, to the same basket. Prices on oil and oil products are formed by the market and the price of gas in long-term contracts is linked to this price. Why? Because this production requires big investments and those who invest in production must be sure that the product will be sold. This is why Gazprom is generally interested in long-term contracts.

They kept telling us: “No, this isn’t market-based. You should use prices in the spot market as a benchmark.” We tried to change their mind – I personally was doing this in Brussels. I said: “Don’t do this because natural gas trade is a special segment of the world market. Those who produce and sell it and those who buy it must be confident that their relationship is reliable.” “No,” they said, believing the price at the time was too high. A hundred dollars per 1,000 cubic metres seemed to them to be an extremely high price at the time and later they said the same about the price of US$300. That is what prices were like back then. Today, let’s see, the price has exceeded 3,000 euros. We kept saying: “Don’t do this.” Yet, they practically forced their companies to opt for pegging to spot [prices] and imposed the same on us – imposed! Now a large part of the gas price is determined by spot [transactions].

We did not ask for this – the Europeans imposed this on us. First, they imposed these truly idiotic decisions regarding gas trade, and after seeing what is happening now, they started thinking how to get out of it. So, how? They want to cap the price, resorting to administrative measures. More absurdity and nonsense that will send prices skyrocketing in world markets, including the European market. Nothing can be achieved in the economy and global trade using administrative measures.

This section is about the Nord Stream turbine debacle which Putin didn't want to waste any time talking about but was pressed to do so. He sums up the situation like a stand-up comedian in fine form, with an addition of a piece of info that he wasn't aware of. I had to let the laugh out because the whole thing was so absurd.
Vladimir Putin: Nord Stream 1 is practically closed, and everyone is saying: “Russia is using its energy weapon.” More nonsense and rubbish. What weapon are we using? We supply as much gas as our partners need, as much as they order. We are not pumping gas into the air but supplying the amount ordered. We fill the orders that we receive.

What has happened? The operation of one of the two gas pipelines running across Ukraine was suspended by Ukraine for a made-up reason, alleging that there was no control over it. They closed it themselves. It was not us who closed it, Ukraine did it. This is my first point.

Another pipeline, Yamal–Europe, runs across Poland. Poland imposed sanctions on this gas pipeline and suspended its functioning. Was it us who did this? No, the Poles did it. The Ukrainians did it and the Poles.

Regarding Nord Stream 1, our German partners have agreed that all technical aspects of Nord Stream 1, including the maintenance of gas-pumping turbine units, are subject to British law because – I myself was unaware of this and learned about this from Mr Miller – Gazprom had to sign a contract for the maintenance of these units made by Siemens not with the Siemens main office but with its subsidiary based in the United Kingdom, which slapped sanctions on Gazprom, and agreed to repair the turbines at a Siemens plant in Canada.

What do we have to do with all of that? Canada finally took it but yielded to numerous requests coming from Germany and gave it to Germany, whereas under an agreement with a Siemens subsidiary in the UK, the turbines were to be shipped straight to St Petersburg. Logistics arrangements have changed and the contract has to be revised. The British-based Siemens subsidiary will not even respond to Gazprom’s inquiries.

You can take as many photos with the turbine as you want, but give us the documents, for crying out loud. This is our property. We need to understand the legal status of this property and its technical condition. They give us nothing but chit-chat.

The last turbine is now out of order, so Siemens representatives came to look at it. There is an oil leak, which is an explosion and fire hazard. There is no way for the turbine to remain operational given its current condition. Give us the turbines, and we will turn on Nord Stream 1 overnight. They do not give us anything. They say we are weaponising it. What are they talking about? They themselves messed things up big time and are now not sure what to do about it. They drove themselves into a sanctions dead end.

There is only one way out. In Germany, people are rallying to turn on Nord Stream 2. We are supportive of the demands by German consumers and we are ready to turn it on as early as tomorrow. All we need to do is press the button, but we are not the ones who imposed sanctions on Nord Stream 2. It was done under pressure from the United States. Why is it exerting pressure? Because it wants to sell its gas for a pretty penny. We are aware of the position of the former US administration as well. They said, “Yes, we sell at a higher price, but let them buy ours because we offer them protection.” Let them buy then if they choose to. We will sell our product.

With the new PM of Britain chosen, Putin gives a 'wait and see' stance while firmly stating Russia's position.
Ilya Doronov: Since we are talking about Britain, I have a follow-up question for you. Liz Truss is the new Prime Minister succeeding Boris Johnson. What are your expectations regarding the new Prime Minister? Am I right to think that there is no hope to see our relations improve after everything she had to say?

Vladimir Putin: Listen, the UK process for electing the head of state is far removed from the principles of democracy. It is confined to the party that won the previous parliamentary election. The people of Great Britain have no say in the change of government. The ruling elite stick to their rules. We know where the Tories stand on these issues, including with regard to Russia. It is up to them to decide how they are going to build relations with the Russian Federation. Our job is to protect our interests. We will do so consistently, let there be no doubt about it.

Putin revisits the gas pipelines only from the Pole/German angle.
Vladimir Putin: ... You asked me about gas and our relations with European consumers. Poland went ahead and imposed sanctions on Yamal-Europe, thus putting an end to its operation. Was it done for political reasons? Yes, but not only that.

It turns out that the Poles were buying gas from us at higher prices than the Germans. They closed down the Yamal-Europe gas pipeline and started buying our gas in reverse from Germany at slightly lower prices than they paid to Gazprom. The Germans were getting the cheapest gas but sold it to the Poles at a small premium. That is all there is to it, and that is what this decision is all about.

Truth be told, the companies in question have hurt their own consumers as they pursued their pragmatic interests. Why? Because our gas supplies to Europe went down and prices shot up immediately, and everything was lost again. You see? And that is what is happening everywhere you look. But there is no way around it in the economy. You cannot break objective economic laws and get away with it. It will boomerang on you.

This partial exchange is interesting for other reasons. Rather teacher/student-esq.
Ilya Doronov: I also want to ask a question about the relationship between business and the state.

In previous forums you have said that the role of the state always grows in importance in times of crisis, and I will give some examples.

In 2008, you might remember, you promised to send a doctor to the CEO of Mechel. You were interviewed in 2020, and when asked about your perception of businessmen as crooks by definition, you said: ”There are certain grounds for that.”

Last year, before the St Petersburg Forum, I spoke with Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov. He said, ”the metal companies double-crossed us.”

Based on these examples, how does the state build relationships with big business, with businesspeople?

Vladimir Putin: You shouldn’t pull single phrases out of the context of the issues we are discussing. I am not going to comment on my words. If I said anything about particular individuals in the business community, I meant individual representatives, not the entire business community.

The Russian business community as a whole shows the highest degree of responsibility to their country, their homeland, and the citizens of Russia. I want to note this, and I want to thank them for it. This is the first thing.

By the way, you know what I told many [Russian business] people back then: ”You will wear yourself out defending your interests.” Certain possessions were seized abroad – accounts, boats, and so on. I had cautioned them about that. They would have been better off keeping those boats here, and investing their money not in foreign assets, but in developing Russian infrastructure. Nothing would have been lost, everything would have been here, in the Motherland, and we would have made a profit from the money invested. Ok, this is already a lesson for everyone.

Ilya Doronov
: But who would have thought they would do it?

Vladimir Putin: But I talked about this and warned about it. Not because I am smarter, but because I have more information. I warned them and spoke about it. And many people, by the way, including some sitting in this hall, understood this and did not keep anything special “abroad,” they kept everything here, “at home.” And they turned out to be right, in fact. ...

Putin talks about visas and his view on who should be allowed to enter Russia. An argument can be made either way.
Ilya Doronov: ... We have many agreements on visa-free travel with Latin American countries but almost none with Europe. Meanwhile, I think European tourists can come here. Maybe we shouldn’t close our doors to them with some kind of tourist curtain but, on the contrary, let them in?

Vladimir Putin: Yes, I share your view. Just like we won’t allow anyone to press any decision on us in, say, the power industry – their arms are not long enough for this – we shouldn’t do anything that contradicts our interests in this area as well. Mr Lavrov will probably be angry at me because…

Ilya Doronov: Yes, he is listening attentively in this hall.

Vladimir Putin: Because the Foreign Ministry always responds in kind: they spat on us so we must spit on them; they cancelled visas for us and so we must cancel visas for all of them. But we shouldn’t do anything that does not meet our own interests.

Are we interested in young people coming to study in our country? Yes. So why stop them from coming? We are interested in entrepreneurs coming and working here despite the restrictions. So many entrepreneurs love Russia, trust it and want to work here. Welcome, let them come and work. What’s the point of restricting them?

Or, say, tutors come and teach our children. Let them come and work. What’s bad about this? Or take athletes, for one, or artists. Why limit them? We will not cut off these contacts ourselves. Anyone that does this is just isolating themselves, not us.

Putin responds to the Zaporozhye plant shellings.
Ilya Doronov: Let us move on to international agenda, energy security and, generally, a new security structure.

The day before, the IAEA released a report on what is happening at the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant. The report does not specify who is shelling the plant; it describes the damage that the experts have noticed.

How would you comment on this? Do you trust this report?

Vladimir Putin: Yes, of course, I do trust this report. The IAEA is a responsible international organisation and its head is a true professional. Clearly, they are under pressure from the countries where they work, including the United States and European countries, and cannot say directly that the plant is being shelled from the territory of Ukraine but it is an obvious thing. We are exercising control over the plant and we have our military personnel there. Is it possible that we are shooting at ourselves? It is total crap, there is nothing else to call it. I tell my Western partners: “Is it possible that we are shooting at ourselves?” [They answer]: “Well, yes, that does seem to defy common sense.” This is my first point.

Secondly, there are a lot of HIMARS debris and fragments of other Western weapons around. Are they posing a threat? Of course, they are.

I read in the report that the IAEA deems it necessary to remove military equipment from the territory around the plant. But there is no military equipment on the territory of the plant. IAEA experts should have seen that and now they can still see it, with two experts remaining at the site. There are Rosgvardiya [the Federal Service of National Guard Troops of the Russian Federation] forces there guarding the area along the perimeter of the plant and the interior of the plant – that is all.

Ilya Doronov: Yes, they have recorded a couple of vehicles there.

Vladimir Putin: These are Tigrs [armoured vehicles], which Rosgvardiya uses to guard the plant and provide security in the area. If you wish, we can take anyone you want there tomorrow, including a large group of journalists, including European or American journalists, let them have a look. It is easy to see where the shells are coming from to hit Energodar – right from the opposite side of the water storage reservoir. We know where they are coming from and still we do not have equipment, including military equipment for counter-battery fire, at the plant. All of it is deployed far from the plant’s perimeter.

However, the Ukrainian side is threatening nuclear safety. Frankly speaking, I do not quite understand why they are doing this. Is it simply because they want to draw attention to the situation they are in and create more crises?

Incidentally, we do not often talk about this, but we are not hiding either their attempts to carry out terrorist acts in the Russian Federation by blowing high-voltage transmission lines close to our nuclear power facilities. That is, they are working consistently to this end. To be frank, it is not quite clear to me why they are doing things that pose a threat to all of Europe. But that is what they are doing.

Yesterday, I asked Mr Likhachev, the head of Rosatom [the State Atomic Energy Corporation], to submit additional proposals from Rosatom for ensuring security [at the plant], because the main threat is not posed by the reactor but by the spent-fuel storage.

A history lesson for Josep Borrell.
Ilya Doronov: In the meantime, EU’s chief diplomat Josep Borrell said… If I may, I would like to cite what he said. This is the translation I found: “Today we are meeting in the framework of accession negotiations with representatives of Ukraine. We do not yet have a concrete plan on how to defeat fascist Russia and its fascist regime.” What is this?

Vladimir Putin: Does this have anything to do with the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant? Nothing, right?

Ilya Doronov: It has nothing to do with the nuclear power plant. This is simply how he described our country.

Vladimir Putin: He is just mouthing off. He is a big specialist on this.

We have heard about the calls to defeat Russia on the battlefield from the EU’s head of diplomacy. This is a strange diplomatic approach. If he were a defence minister of a country, it would be possible to understand this rhetoric, but it sounds very strange when said by the EU’s chief diplomat. Let it go, let God be his judge, let him say what he wants.

As for fascist regimes, what can I say? You know if he had lived in the 1930s… He is a Spaniard, right?

Ilya Doronov
: Yes, a Spaniard.

Vladimir Putin: If he had lived in Spain in the 1930s and heard a sacramental phrase in a weather report: “A cloudless sky over all of Spain” – a signal for the beginning of a state coup by General Franco – he would have taken up arms. But whose side would he be on? The democratically elected left-wing government of Spain at that time or the putschists? In my opinion, he would be on the side of the putschists, because today he supports the same kind of putschists in Ukraine. The primary source of today’s power is the state coup of 2014. He supports them and he would have sided with the fascists for sure. This is who is on the side of the fascists. This is my first point.

Now my second point. Today, he is vigorously supporting the Ukrainian government along with the whole of Europe. I have repeatedly discussed these issues with our European partners, and we have always pointed out the signs of neo-Nazism in Kiev’s current government. And the response is always, “Come on! All of us have all kinds of neo-Nazis.” Yes, we have them. But neither Russia nor any other civilized country promotes Nazis or radical Nazi-like nationalists to national hero status. That’s the difference. And Ukraine is doing just that.

If this man, the one you mentioned – God bless his heart – had any idea who Bandera, Shukhevich and the like were (neo-Nazis who shot Russians, Jews and Poles – and the German occupiers mostly shifted this dirty work to them, and they exterminated people), if he proceeded from these considerations he would understand where real Nazism is prospering and where it is supported at the government level.

He should be given an opportunity to look reality in the eye and then we would listen to him. If he has even a drop of conscience, he will draw the right conclusions.

This concludes the EEF transcription selections.

Usually, Security Council transcriptions are empty but this one had grain and fertilizer export numbers. In general the info here was covered in the EFF session but has some added detail.

Meeting with permanent members of Security Council


The President chaired a regular meeting with permanent members of the Security Council, via videoconference.

September 9, 2022
16:10

The Kremlin, Moscow

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: ...

First, you should know that I mentioned grain supplies [at the Eastern Economic Forum] , including Ukrainian exports. As we remember, this effort was mediated by the Republic of Turkey, as well as the United Nations. Our European partners have long been telling us about the need to resume supplies, including from Ukraine, and above all in the interests of the poorest countries.

...

Now we hear that some of our partners are questioning what was said about those grain supplies from Ukraine. But we have every move recorded, there can be no mistake there. Of the 87 ships that left Ukrainian ports carrying grain, 32 remained in Turkey, and I believe that was a fair part of the deal because Turkey was the country that arranged this entire process and therefore is certainly entitled to this. Three went to South Africa, three to Israel, seven to Egypt, 30 to the European Union, and only two ships headed for the poorest countries under UN food programmes – for Yemen and Djibouti. They carried 60,000 tonnes of grain, or a mere 3 percent.

I would like to ask the Foreign Ministry to take this into account when interacting with our partners, including the UN. True, we cannot influence this process, cannot direct how much food goes where, but nevertheless, we consider it right to increase supplies to the poorest countries. I would like to ask our Foreign Ministry to proceed from this position. We control everything that happens there, but we certainly cannot influence where this grain goes.

In May-August of this year, the Russian Federation supplied 6.6 million tonnes of grain to world markets, including wheat, barley and corn, of which as much as 6.3 million tonnes went to Asia, Africa and Latin America. Overall, by the end of the year, we will supply 30 million tonnes of grain and are ready to increase our exports to 50 million tonnes or more, because thank God, this year's harvest is good.

Second, fertilisers. This year, Russia exported 7 million tonnes of potash, nitrogen and compound, or mixed fertilisers in four months, of which about 3 million tonnes, or almost half, also went to Asia, Africa and Latin America. We can supply about 2 million tonnes of ammonia, which can be used to make large amounts of fertiliser, which in turn can be used to produce massive wheat crops.

...

We are aware that the European Commission has lifted the sanctions on the supplies of Russian fertilisers, and we certainly welcome this decision. However, the European Commission issued a clarification on this matter on August 10, whereby only EU countries can buy our fertilisers, but we and Belarus cannot ship our fertilisers through the ports of European countries to the developing economies of Asia, Africa or Latin America, which is an act of discrimination against our partners from these parts of the world.

I want the Foreign Ministry to work with our partners and the UN, which joined the efforts to address these issues. I believe discrimination against Asian, African or Latin American countries is unacceptable. By all means, we will review our European partners’ proposals regarding fertiliser supplies to them, but we need to get our fertiliser supplies to other countries on track too. By the way, I want the Foreign Ministry to act in support of the Belarusian fertiliser supplies as well.

Massive amounts of our fertilisers (100,000 tonnes, I believe) are stored at the ports of some European countries. Our manufacturers – primarily of potash fertilizer – are willing to give them for free to the developing countries in dire need of these fertilisers. I want the Foreign Ministry to work through this issue as well.

A one liner that might as well have been written in a Hallmark card. Chuck's got some repairs to make, me thinks.

Greetings to King Charles III of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland


Vladimir Putin sent a message to King Charles III of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland congratulating him on hisascension to the throne.

September 10, 2022
13:35

The message reads, in part:

“I wish Your Majesty success, good health and all the very best.”

Btw, Macron called...

Telephone conversation with President of France Emmanuel Macron


Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with President of the French Republic Emmanuel Macron at the French side’s initiative.

September 11, 2022
17:00

The two leaders had in an in-depth and frank exchange of views on the situation in and around Ukraine, particularly on the matter of providing security at the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant.

The Russian side drew attention to Ukraine’s regular shelling of the plant’s facilities, including nuclear waste disposal storage, which can lead to catastrophic consequences. The Russian President mentioned measures undertaken by Russian specialists to ensure the plant’s physical security and stressed the need to put pressure on Kiev to stop the shelling of the nuclear power plant immediately. Both sides expressed their willingness to eschew political bias to work together on the situation around the Zaporozhye NPP with IAEA involvement.

Vladimir Putin further stressed the fact that Ukrainian armed forces have been using weapons supplied by the West to specifically target non-military infrastructure in Donbass cities, leading to the suffering of civilians.


In discussing the issue of global food security, it was reaffirmed that the grain being exported from the Black Sea ports should be exported to developing countries first. With this goal in mind, it is of utmost importance for the European Commission to avoid impeding shipments of Russian agricultural products and fertilisers to the markets of Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America.

It was agreed to maintain dialogue on the issues discussed at various levels, including the ministerial level.

A sign of the West's desperation?

Meeting on economic issues


Vladimir Putin held a videoconference meeting on economic issues.

September 12, 2022
13:50

The Kremlin, Moscow

...
We see that the actions of our, to put it mildly, ill-wishers are to a large extent unpredictable and impulsive lately. They are clearly unprofessional and thus impulsive, and this means that we should follow our own logic and keep the initiative. We should not just react to certain unfriendly steps, but consistently reach our development goals in the economy, social sphere and infrastructure. This also concerns the preparation of the draft federal budget.
...
 

Benjamin

Dagobah Resident
The last time these two spoke was on May 28, 2022 in a conference call with Macron. One-on-one, March 30.

Telephone conversation with Federal Chancellor of Germany Olaf Scholz


Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with Federal Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany Olaf Scholz.

September 13, 2022
19:35

The two leaders focused on developments around Ukraine in the context of Russia’s special military operation. In particular, Vladimir Putin directed the attention of the Federal Chancellor to Ukraine’s flagrant violations of international humanitarian law, the continuous shelling of cities in Donbass, which is killing civilians and inflicting deliberate damage on civilian infrastructure.

The security of the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) was also discussed. The President of Russia described in detail the IAEA-coordinated measures to ensure the physical protection of the ZNPP that Ukraine is subjecting to continuous missile attacks, despite the serious risk of causing a major disaster.

During an exchange of views on the implementation of the grain deal concluded in Istanbul on July 22, Vladimir Putin emphasised its package character and explained his concerns over the geographic imbalance in Ukrainian maritime shipments of grain, only a negligible share of which goes to the neediest countries. Moreover, there has been no progress in removing obstacles to Russian food and fertiliser exports. The President confirmed that Russia is ready to deliver large quantities of grain to external markets and to provide needy countries with the fertiliser blocked in European ports at no charge.

In response to a question from the Federal Chancellor, Vladimir Putin noted that, unlike Kiev, Russia grants the International Committee of the Red Cross access to POWs.

Describing the current energy situation in Europe, Vladimir Putin emphasised that Russia has always been and remains a reliable supplier of energy resources and fulfils all of its contractual obligations, while any interruptions, for example in the operation of Nord Stream 1, are the result of anti-Russia sanctions that interfere with the pipeline’s technical maintenance. Considering that gas supply via Ukraine and Poland was stopped by their governments, as well as the refusal to put Nord Stream 2 into operation, the attempts to shift the blame for Europe’s energy problems onto Russia look very cynical.

The leaders agreed to maintain further contact.
 

Benjamin

Dagobah Resident

Telephone conversation with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres


Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

September 14, 2022
20:00

The primary focus was on the implementation of the Istanbul package agreements on Ukrainian grain exports from Black Sea ports and exports of Russian foods and fertilisers. Both leaders emphasised the importance of prioritising the food needs of countries in Africa, the Middle East and Latin America.

Antonio Guterres informed Vladimir Putin about the efforts of the Secretariat and other UN agencies to remove all obstacles to the supply of Russian agricultural produce and fertilisers to world markets, noting that he is fully committed to achieving a resolution. The need to continue close cooperation between Russia and relevant UN agencies in the interests of ensuring global food security was confirmed.

The situation around the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) was discussed, including the visit by the IAEA delegation on September 1. Vladimir Putin gave a positive assessment to the constructive cooperation with the agency and told the UN Secretary-General about the measures taken by Russia to ensure the security and physical protection of ZNPP facilities.

Consideration was given to the question of organising a UN fact-finding mission in connection with a missile strike carried out by the armed forces of Ukraine on July 29 at the pre-trial detention centre in Yelenovka where Ukrainian POWs were held. Antonio Guterres assured Vladimir Putin that preparations are underway for a visit of UN experts to the site of the incident in order to conduct an independent and unbiased investigation.

Other topics of discussion included the criminal activities of Ukrainian neo-Nazi units that are resorting to terrorist methods against opponents and critics of the Kiev regime. In this context, Vladimir Putin reminded the Secretary-General of the vicious, cowardly murder of Darya Dugina. Antonio Guterres condemned this crime for which, he emphasised, there can be no justification.

Russia-UNO work at various levels will continue as agreed.
 

Nević Nenad

The Living Force
An assassination attempt against Putin?

French tweet :

Translation :
FAILED ATTEMPT TO ASSASSINATE PUTIN!
A loud explosion hit Putin's limousine, with thick smoke around the left front wheel.
The car has been secured.
Putin is unharmed.
Several bodyguards were reportedly arrested.
Right out of Hollywood! I wonder where Gerard Butler and Morgan Freeman were . . . :lol:
 

Possibility of Being

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
Right out of Hollywood! I wonder where Gerard Butler and Morgan Freeman were . . . :lol:
:lol:

Just for the record:


MOSCOW, September 15. /TASS/. Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Thursday denied reports of an attempted assassination attempt on Vladimir Putin.

The allegation of an earlier attack on a presidential motorcade moving towards the president's residence appeared in one of the telegram channels on September 14, and was later retold by the English tabloid The Sun.

Asked whether the information had any basis in fact, Putin's spokesman told TASS: "No, it doesn't."
 

Benjamin

Dagobah Resident
Busy day today, being the first day of the SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organisation) summit.

Putin started with two meetings with the President of Kyrgyz Republic followed by the President of Turkmenistan.

Selections from the third meeting with the President of Iran:

Meeting with President of Iran Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi


Vladimir Putin had a meeting with President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi, in Samarkand.

September 15, 2022
12:30

Samarkand

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President, ...

Just as you and I had agreed, we have done everything possible to make Iran a full-fledged member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. Our SCO partners supported your application. Following the last formality, and indeed this is a formality, Iran will join this serious, large and influential international organisation. We are very happy to see this.

Bilateral cooperation, including high-tech cooperation, also continues to develop. As you know, the Khayyam remote sensing satellite, developed by Russian enterprises as per your request, lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome on August 9.

We are finalising a new major Russian-Iranian treaty that will elevate our relations to the level of strategic partnership.
...
Members of the first such business mission visited Iran in May 2022, and I would like to say that many delegation members later shared their impressions with me. They were very happy with what they saw at Iranian enterprises, in the context of high-tech development. To be honest, we did not expect this. Consequently, we and I personally would like to congratulate you on this.
...

President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi (retranslated): In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful,

Mr President,

I am again very happy to have this opportunity to meet with you. And I feel very flattered that you said that since our last meeting our agreements have been successfully implemented, they are being put into effect.

Thank you very much, and I want to thank the Russian Federation for your support of Iran’s full-fledged membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.

As for the bilateral agenda, we have the necessary will to develop these relations. You know, our relations are not ordinary; they are strategic and have a strategic value. We need to develop our cooperation in the political, economic, commercial areas, in aeronautics and space exploration.
...
Thank you so much and thanks to the Russian Federation for your active support for Iran’s acceptance as a full-fledged member of the EAEU and BRICS. We know that this is also a mutual partnership that will serve in the interests of the entire region, and it will strengthen our ties.
...
You know, the Americans think so, or they believe that by declaring sanctions against a state, they can impair its willpower and forward movement. However, I believe that they are miscalculating; this is a mistake. For years, they have been imposing sanctions on us, we are facing their unilateral sanctions, but the people of the Islamic Republic of Iran have managed to avert this threat and the sanctions that they are imposing on us.

Regarding the sanctions against the Russian Federation, we do not recognise these sanctions, we will never recognise them, and we will strengthen and expand our relations with the Russian Federation in the trade and economic sphere. You know, mutual relations between such countries as the Islamic Republic of Iran and Russia that are subject to US sanctions are something that can strengthen our ties and implement our achievements and our agreements.
...
Of course, we can push aside all the sanctions, as well as the threats that the United States of America is imposing on our countries. You know, the Islamic Republic of Iran has the required goodwill, and we are making a goodwill gesture: we never leave and will never leave the negotiating table. However, it has been proven, and the whole world knows that it is impossible to reach an agreement with the United States of America, it violates all obligations. Of course, everyone knows that the European Union is also in a passive situation, unable to keep its promises.


Vladimir Putin: It is their word, and they either keep it or not, as they see fit.

Meeting with Prime Minister of Pakistan Shehbaz Sharif


Vladimir Putin met with Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan Shehbaz Sharif on the sidelines of the SCO summit.

September 15, 2022
13:10

Samarkand

Prime Minister of Pakistan Shehbaz Sharif: ... President Putin, thank you for your condolences message. We have had devastating floods because of unprecedented torrential rains in Pakistan, which have hurt the entire country: 33 million people have been affected, 1,400 have died, and hundreds of children have died. Millions of acres of crops – rice, cotton, sugar cane – all gone. Millions of houses have been damaged, partially or completely. The Foreign Minister’s province of Sindh has been most devastated, as well as Balochistan, and then other parts of Pakistan. Thank you for your support. We have received your valuable support at this critical time. We are very grateful to you.

I just want to let you know that my fond memories with your great country go back to 1968–1969, when I was a student. That was my first trip to any international country. So, I went to Moscow – my father sent me for business training. I met companies like Stankoimport and Mashinexport – they had their office at Dom 35, Moscow. That is my memory with your great country.

At that time, we had barter trade between Pakistan and the Soviet Union. The first steel plant was built by the Soviet Union in Karachi. His grandfather, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, laid the foundation stone. We had tremendous partnership – that is the kind of relationship Pakistan had with your great country. It is on its own, it does not need any support, it is inclusive and it is not at the cost of any other country.

Meeting with PRC President Xi Jinping


Vladimir Putin and President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping held bilateral talks on the sidelines of the SCO Summit in Samarkand.

September 15, 2022
14:20

Samarkand

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Comrade Xi Jinping, my dear friend,

Chinese colleagues,

It is a pleasure to welcome you at the meeting.
...
The Russian-Chinese interstate interaction can be regarded as a model. The foreign policy tandem of Moscow and Beijing plays a key role in ensuring global and regional stability. Together, we support building a just, democratic and multipolar world order based on international rules and the central role of the United Nations, not on certain rules that someone has invented and is attempting to impose on others without even explaining what it is all about.

In general, I must say that the attempts to create a unipolar world have acquired in recent times an absolutely ugly configuration and they are absolutely unacceptable for the overwhelming majority of states on this planet.


We appreciate our Chinese friends’ balanced position in connection with the Ukraine crisis. We understand your questions and your concerns in this regard. During today’s meeting we will certainly explain in detail our position on this issue, although we have spoken about this before now.

For our part, we have firmly, in practice, abided by the One China principle. We condemn provocations staged by the United States and its satellites in the Strait of Taiwan. We discussed this with Speaker of Parliament, Chairman [of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress] Li Zhanshu in Vladivostok a short while ago.
...
The SCO includes countries with different cultural and civilisational traditions, foreign policy goals and national development models. However, building our work on the principles of equality and mutual benefit, respecting each other's sovereignty, and refraining from interfering in internal affairs made it possible for us to make this organisation an effective mechanism for multilateral cooperation.

It is the world’s largest regional organisation that covers a vast geographical area and represents about half of the planet’s population. [Close to some sort of 'tipping point'?]
...

President of China Xi Jinping (retranslated): Mr President, my dear old friend,

I am happy to see you again.

In February, we took pleasure in the joint celebration of the beginning of spring and the opening of the Winter Olympics, as well as our discussion of the ambitious plans to expand Cino-Russian relations.

Amid the pandemic, we continue to maintain effective strategic contacts, in particular, by way of telephone calls.

In the face of ongoing formidable global changes that have never been seen in history, we are ready to work with our Russian colleagues to set an example of what a responsible global power is and assume leadership in order to bring the rapidly changing world onto a path of sustainable and positive development.

I would like to take this opportunity and say that I am prepared to exchange views with you on the bilateral agenda, as well as on international and regional issues of mutual interest.

This meeting was followed by a trilateral meeting between Russia, China and Mongolia. The 'second part' of the transcript feels like it was recorded after the meeting and that several agreements were finalized pending approval from the next level of examination.

The seventh and last meeting of the day was with the President of Uzbekistan where Shavkat Mirziyoyev was awarded the Order of Alexander Nevsky.

Ceremony to present Order of Alexander Nevsky to President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev


Following their bilateral meeting, Vladimir Putin awarded a state award of the Russian Federation, the Order of Alexander Nevsky, to President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev.

September 15, 2022
17:30

Samarkand

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: ... "This order is awarded to foreign leaders for major contributions to promoting friendly ties with Russia. And you, Mr Mirziyoyev, deserve this prestigious Russian award more than anyone."
...
More than once I was personally shown the cordiality and hospitality of the Uzbek people. And during this visit, I would like to once again thank you for the warm welcome extended to the Russian delegation.

There is an engraving on a building in the historical part of Samarkand, “There can be no peace except in harmony; there can be no friendship except in fidelity.” I am sure that relations between Russia and Uzbekistan, guided by these wise words, will continue to develop in the spirit of sincere friendship for peace and stability in the region, and the prosperity and well-being of our nations.
...

President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev: Mr Putin, friends,

Let me express my sincere gratitude to you for presenting me with a prestigious state award of the Russian Federation, the Order of Alexander Nevsky. It is a great honour for me.

We know well that Alexander Nevsky, a great statesman and commander, always defended the interests of his country. His words “God is not in strength, but in truth” are in many ways consonant with the advice of our great ancestor Amir Temur “Strength is in justice.”

The motto of the Order of Alexander Nevsky is very symbolic: For Labour and the Fatherland. Indeed, noble work in the name of the Fatherland deserved the highest recognition at all times and among all nations. I consider this award, first of all, to be high praise for the contribution of the multi-ethnic people of Uzbekistan to the consistent and comprehensive development of the strategic partnership and alliance with Russia.

I believe this is excellent proof of our mutual desire to further promote the friendship between our people and countries and to expand the current constructive and trust-based dialogue at all levels.

The final action of the day was a tree planting ceremony at the southern entrance of the Samarkand Congress centre.

http://static.kremlin.ru/media/events/photos/big/DAjWceaZTEIrC1z3ra7YmrYkpKyZ34Zy.JPG
 

Benjamin

Dagobah Resident
This is a good summery of current and future SCO activities. At the same time, you get a sense of the principles behind this group.

Meeting of the SCO Heads of State Council


Vladimir Putin took part in an expanded-format meeting of the SCO Heads of State Council in Samarkand.

September 16, 2022
13:05

Samarkand

* * *

Earlier, the SCO heads of state held a restricted-attendance meeting.

Following the summit, the leaders signed the Samarkand Declaration and adopted a package of documents.

The SCO Heads of State Council adopted statements in response to climate change, on ensuring reliable, sustainable and diversified supply chains, and on ensuring global food security and international energy security.

In particular, the adopted documents include the decisions of the SCO Heads of State Council on the 2023–2027 Comprehensive Action Plan for the Implementation of the Provisions of the SCO Treaty on Long-term Good Neighbourliness, Friendship and Cooperation; on the SCO Concept of Cooperation for the Development of Connectivity and the Creation of Efficient Transport Corridors; and on the Roadmap for the Gradual Increase in the Share of National Currencies in Mutual Settlements.

In addition, decisions were made to sign the Memorandum of Commitments of the Islamic Republic of Iran so that the country can obtain the status of a member state of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation; to initiate the procedure for admitting the Republic of Belarus as a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation; and to grant the status of a Shanghai Cooperation Organisation dialogue partner to the Republic of Maldives, the Kingdom of Bahrain, the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, the United Arab Emirates and the State of Kuwait.

The SCO Heads of State Council also adopted a decision to sign the Memorandum between the SCO Secretariat and the United Nations on education, science and culture (2023–2027).

Vladimir Putin spoke briefly with UN Under-Secretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo following the expanded-format meeting of the SCO Heads of State Council.

* * *

Speech by the President of Russia at an expanded meeting of the SCO Heads of State Council

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President, colleagues,

I fully share the statements made by my colleagues and their positive assessments of the work of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and its growing prestige in international affairs. Indeed, the SCO has become the largest regional organisation in the world. As previous speakers have pointed out, over half of the world’s population lives in SCO member states, which account for about 25 percent of global GDP and have a powerful intellectual and technological potential and a considerable part of global natural resources.

At the same time, the SCO is not marking time but continues to develop and build up its role in addressing international and regional issues and maintaining peace, security and stability throughout the vast Eurasian space. Colleagues, this is especially important in the current complicated international situation, about which we have talked in detail during our restricted-attendance meeting.

However, I would like to repeat that global politics and economy are about to undergo fundamental and irreversible changes. The growing role of new centres of power is coming into sharp focus, and interaction among these new centres is not based on some rules, which are being forced on them by external forces and which nobody has seen, but on the universally recognised principles of the rule of international law and the UN Charter, namely, equal and indivisible security and respect for each other’s sovereignty, national values and interests.

It is on these principles, which are devoid of all elements of egoism, that the joint efforts of SCO member states are based in politics and the economy. This opens up broad prospects for continued mutually beneficial cooperation in politics, the economy, culture, humanitarian and other spheres.

Fighting terrorism and extremism, drug trafficking, organised crime and illegal armed formations remains a priority of our cooperation. Other key areas include providing assistance in the political and diplomatic settlement of conflicts along our external borders, including in Afghanistan.

Strengthening economic cooperation has traditionally been a critical part of the SCO's activities. Our joint efforts are designed to expand trade and investment exchanges, carry out mutually beneficial business projects in various industries, and to increase the volume of settlements in national currencies.

As noted above, including by the President of Kazakhstan, we are open to working with the whole world. The SCO is a non-bloc association. We help addressing the energy and food problems that are growing globally as a result of certain systemic errors in the world's leading economies in the field of finance and energy. Our policy is not selfish. We hope that other participants in economic cooperation will build their policies on the same principles and stop using the tools of protectionism, illegal sanctions and economic selfishness to their own advantage.

The European Commission’s decision to lift sanctions on Russian fertilisers is a vivid example of such selfish behaviour. We are aware of the fertilisers’ important role in overcoming the food problem. Of course, we welcome the decision to lift the sanctions. But it turns out that, in accordance with the clarification of the European Commission of September 10, these sanctions were lifted only for EU countries. It turns out that they are the only ones who can purchase our fertilisers. What about the developing poorest countries around the world?


Taking advantage of the presence of UN Under-Secretary-General [Rosemary] DiCarlo, I would like to ask the UN Secretariat – I discussed this matter with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres the day before yesterday – to use its influence on the European Commission’s decision not in word, but in deed and to demand that they, our colleagues from the European Commission, lift these clearly discriminatory restrictions on developing countries and provide access for Russian fertilisers to their markets.

Also, the day before yesterday I apprised Secretary-General Guterres of the fact that 300,000 tonnes of Russian fertilisers are stocked at the EU seaports. We are ready to make them available to developing countries for free.

I would also like to note that Russia is increasing its grain exports to international markets. This year, it is going to be 30 million tonnes, and next year it will be 50 million tonnes with 90 percent of our food exports going to the markets of Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Undoubtedly, the ongoing summit’s decisions and documents to improve the efficiency of international transport corridors, to expand intraregional, to advance industrial and scientific and technical cooperation, and to introduce high-tech solutions in agriculture and healthcare will promote further development of business ties within the SCO.

It is also important to advance cultural and humanitarian cooperation within the SCO.

Agreements and memorandums on cooperation in tourism and museology that will be signed during today's meeting will serve as the next step forward on this path.

It appears that opportunities are good for stepping up sports cooperation and potentially holding major sporting events with SCO sponsorship. To do this, we could think about creating an association of sports organisations under our association.

Friends,

It was noted earlier today during the restricted-attendance meeting that the SCO states focus on expanding cooperation with countries that seek to establish an open and equal dialogue with our organisation and are interested in joining it. In this context, Russia, no doubt, favours the earliest possible accession of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the SCO, which is what the documents and the memorandum that will be signed today are designed to accomplish. We are convinced that Iran’s full-fledged participation will be beneficial for the association, as that country plays an important role in the Eurasian region and the world at large.

We also fully stand behind the decision submitted for approval by the Heads of State Council to start the process of admitting the Republic of Belarus as an SCO member. Let me be clear that we have always advocated that Belarus, which is Russia's strategic partner and closest ally, should participate fully in the SCO. This will undoubtedly improve our ability to advance unity in politics, the economy, security and humanitarian matters.

Of course, we welcome the granting of SCO dialogue partner status to Egypt, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, as well as the commencement of the procedure for obtaining this status by the Kingdom of Bahrain, the State of Kuwait, the Republic of Maldives, the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, and the United Arab Emirates. Notably, there are more countries desirous of cooperating with the SCO in various capacities, and applications from other states and international associations deserve our utmost attention and favourable consideration.

In closing, I would like to thank President Shavkat Mirziyoyev for the hospitality and excellent organisation of our work, and to congratulate Uzbekistan on its successful SCO chairmanship. I would also like to wish every success to our Indian friends who are taking over the chairmanship today.

Thank you for your attention.
 
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