Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday accused the West of seeking to prolong the war in Ukraine and impose a unipolar world order that prevents nations from “choosing their own path.”
“More and more states and nations choose [to pursue] their own path of free, sovereign development…These processes are opposed by Western globalist elites [that] provoke chaos, and spark old and new conflicts,” Putin said Tuesday at the inaugural address to the 10th annual Moscow International Security Conference.
Putin claimed that Western elites are working tirelessly “to preserve the hegemony and power that is slipping out of their hands” and keep countries in the grip of the “neo-colonial order” that serves their interests.
"Their hegemony means stagnation for the whole world, for all of civilization; [it means] bigotry and cancel culture, [it means] neoliberal totalitarianism," said Putin.
Putin has repeatedly accused the West of trying to "cancel" Russia and of infringing on Moscow's sphere of influence in Ukraine, which it invaded in February after months of demanding that NATO pull out of the pro-Western country.
He has also justified the invasion with baseless claims that Kyiv has been taken over by Nazis and that Russian speakers in eastern Ukraine's Donbas region are being subjected to "genocide."
In his comments Tuesday, Putin accused Western countries of needing conflict "to maintain their hegemony.
“That is why they prepared the fate of being cannon fodder for the people of Ukraine, implemented the ‘anti-Russia’ project, turned a blind eye to the spread of neo-Nazi ideology, to the massacres of the inhabitants of Donbas,” he said.
The Russian president said that Washington’s alleged meddling in Ukraine brought Russia “to conduct a special military operation…in full accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.”
“The goals of this operation are clearly and precisely defined — these are to ensure the security of Russia and our citizens, to protect the inhabitants of Donbas from genocide,” said Putin.
Putin added that the U.S. is “attempting to prolong” the war in Ukraine and also aims to spread “chaos” further by provoking conflict between China and Taiwan.
“The American affair with Taiwan is not just a trip of one irresponsible politician, but part of a purposeful, conscious U.S. strategy to destabilize…the region and the world,” he said, referring to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's recent visit to Taiwan which roiled Beijing.