Russia is ready to resume negotiations with Ukraine, but will not discuss the choice of the residents of Donbass, the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions: they have become Russians once and for all, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday during the ceremony on accession of four new regions to the country.
Moscow, as the Russian leader stressed, will defend its new territories “with all available forces and means,” and the West has no moral right to challenge the results of referendums in Donbass and in the liberated territories. Putin devoted most of his speech to criticism of Western policies, directly accused the “Anglo-Saxons” of orchestrating the bombing of the Nord Streams, and mentioned that the US had “set a precedent” for the use of nuclear weapons.
TASS compiled Putin’s key statements.
On new regions
Residents of Donbass, as well as of the Zaporozhye and Kherson Regions “have made their choice, an unambiguous choice”: “People living in Lugansk and Donetsk, as well as in the Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions have become our citizens. Once and for all.”
“We will defend our land with all the forces and means at our disposal and we will do everything to ensure the safe life of our citizens. This is the great liberation mission of our people.”
Russia will do everything to make sure that the residents of these regions feel the support of the entire country: “We will definitely rebuild destroyed cities and towns, houses, schools, hospitals, theaters and museums. We will restore and develop industrial enterprises, factories, infrastructure, social and pension systems, health care and education.”
On peace talks with Kiev
“We call on the Kiev regime to immediately cease fire, all hostilities, to stop the war that it had unleashed back in 2014, and to return to the negotiating table.”
Moscow is not going to discuss the status of its new regions at these talks: “Present-day Kiev authorities must treat this free expression of the will of the people with respect and in no other way. Only this can be the path to peace. “We will not discuss the choice of the people in Donetsk, Lugansk, the Zaporozhye and Kherson Regions, it has been made. Russia will not betray it.”
The West has “no moral right” to assess the results of the referendums or “even to talk about freedom and democracy”: “It does not and never has.”
On confrontation with West
The West is ready to “step over everything” in order to preserve its “neocolonial system” that allows it to “plunder the world” and “collect tribute from humanity.” The dictatorship of elites is directed against its own people and acquires “the features of <…> outright Satanism”.
Western countries want to turn Russia into a colony, and the real reasons for the hybrid war unleashed against it are “greed and the intention to preserve their unlimited power”: “They do not need Russia at all, but we need it. In the situation around Ukraine, they just essentially unmasked themselves, showing their true selves”.
Now the West needs to break Russia at all costs, but it is a great power, which will not live by its “rigged, false rules” and will fight for a “just and free future”. The breakdown of Western hegemony is irreversible, a “liberating anti-colonial movement” is developing within a variety of countries and societies: “It will never be like it was before.”
On Nord Stream emergency
Western countries are behind the emergency at the Nord Streams: “Sanctions are not enough for the Anglo-Saxons. They have resorted to sabotage, it’s unbelievable, but true, having organized explosions on the international gas pipelines of the Nord Stream, which runs along the bottom of the Baltic Sea. They have actually begun to destroy the pan-European energy infrastructure.”
On nuclear precedent
“The US is the only country in the world that has used nuclear weapons twice, destroying the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. By the way, they set a precedent.”
On global crisis
Western elites are not going to find constructive solutions to the global food and energy crisis that arose by their own doing, but instead “shift the blame back to Russia”: “They are lying again.”
Only real values can overcome the crisis: “No one can be heated with inflated capitalizations as energy is needed. <…> You can’t feed anyone with paper money, we need food.”
The grain contract, concluded in Istanbul, is “another fraud and outright deceit”, as only five percent of the food exported from Ukraine went to the poorest countries.
About restoration of Soviet Union
The fall of the USSR, contrary to the direct will of the majority of its residents, turned into a national catastrophe, but Moscow does not want to restore it: “The Soviet Union no longer exists, the past cannot be recovered. And even Russia today does not need it, we do not aspire to it.”