Last Friday, 13 February, 2015, Vladimir Putin delivered perhaps his most important speech on foreign policy since he became president of the Russian Federation in 2000. As far as the Western press is concerned, the speech was practically confidential. Former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev, who is no fan of Putin, thinks it was the best and most important speech that Putin has ever made. In it, President Putin firmly stresses Russia’s desire for stability, rule of international law, and a global balance of power. These are traditional, conservative ideas. Putin thinks the rest of the world needs to rein-in out-of-control US global activism, and that, of course, is the only part that made it into the Western press.
Putin came across a very different person from the aggressive expansionist and nationalist demagogue and gambler of western commentary. It is also different from the Putin some other people want him to be. Anyone looking to Putin to lead some great crusade against the US is on the evidence of this speech going to be disappointed. As some have noticed, what he actually wants from the US is not conflict, but cooperation.
You can read the full text of Vladimir Putin’s speech (in English!) which is posted on the official Kremlin website.
Here is the link: