A whole “snarl” of terrorist groups act in the region, who fight also against each other for “sources of income” and not for ideology, Putin said, adding that the weapons provided to “moderate” opposition in the region had ended up in the hands of terrorists.
Some countries are playing a double game, the Russian president said, adding that while they fight against terrorism they also “place figures on the board” in their own interests.
“Success in fighting terrorists cannot be reached if using some of them as a battering ram to overthrow disliked regimes,” Putin told the forum, saying that this way the terrorists would not go anywhere. “It’s just an illusion that they can be dealt with [later], removed from power and somehow negotiated with,” he added.
“I’d like to stress once again that [Russia’s operation in Syria] is completely legitimate, and its only aim is to aid in establishing peace,” the Russian president said in Sochi, adding that the decision to deploy the Air Force was made following a request from the Syrian government.
Countries should perceive one another as “allies in a common fight, and act honestly and openly,” Putin said, adding that only in this way can victory against terror be guaranteed. “Syria… can become a model for partners… of how to solve problems that affect everyone.”
The main task is “not to let terrorists move their activity into other regions,” the Russian president said, adding that to prevent such an outcome all forces in Syria and Iraq, including state armies, Kurdish militia and various opposition groups, should be united.
Russia and the whole world have been “misinformed” and even “deceived” by the US regarding Iran’s suggested nuclear threat, Putin said. Even after Tehran has agreed with the world on the peaceful nature of its uranium enrichment program, missile defense systems are still being tested by Washington far away from its borders – now in Europe.
There is a possibility that US anti-missile shield bases in Eastern Europe might be used for offensive weapons, the president said, adding that it may be regarded as a threat to Russia. A dialogue on limitation of strategic nuclear forces should be continued, Putin added.
“This is a very dangerous scenario, harmful for all, including the United States itself,” the Russian president told the forum. “The deterrent of nuclear weapons has started to lose its value, and some have even got the illusion that a real victory of one of the sides can be achieved in a global conflict, without irreversible consequences for the winner itself – if there is a winner at all,” Putin said.
There can be no winner in conflicts involving nuclear weapons, the Russian leader said.
Europe is America’s ‘vassal’ in US sanctions policy
Trade and sanctions wars show “unfair competition” on the US side, the Russian president said, commenting on current political and economic relations in the world. Moral norms should be considered in international, political, military and economic rivalry, Putin said, adding that otherwise the competition could get out of control.
“Russia could also declare the necessity to democratize the USA, but that would, at a minimum, be impolite,” Putin told the discussion forum.
Formation of economic blocs based on conspiratorial principles will not make the world a safer place, but rather produce a basis for future conflicts, the President said. Pointing out that European companies have also suffered from sanctions the US has imposed on other nations, he concluded that these kinds of measures taken by Washington demonstrate that it treats other countries “like vassals who are being punished, rather than allies.”