Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday that Russia’s mission is to “build a new world” as he blamed a Western “military and financial pyramid scheme” for Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
“We are, in fact, faced with the task of building a new world,” Putin said in a grievance-filled speech at the annual Valdai Discussion Club.
He claimed the West had spurned Moscow’s “goodwill” efforts to build a “new and fairer world order” after the Soviet collapse — including Russia’s proposal to join NATO — which he said has raised the risk of global war.
“Our readiness for constructive interaction was misunderstood by some as submission, as an agreement that the new order will be built by those who proclaimed themselves the winners of the Cold War,” Putin said.
“All these years we have repeatedly warned that this approach not only leads to a dead end but is fraught with the growing threat of military conflict,” he added.
“But no one was going to listen to us, no one wanted to hear us. The arrogance of our so-called partners in the West was simply off the charts.”
Since invading Ukraine last year, the Kremlin has sought to cast the war as part of a larger conflict with the United States and Europe.
Putin echoed the assertion that he had ordered troops into Ukraine last year in response to what he described as “a war that the Kyiv regime started with active and direct Western support almost 10 years ago.”
He denied that Russia seeks territorial gains in Ukraine, saying the conflict was being fought over “the principles on which the new world order will be based.”
“Lasting peace will be established only when everyone feels safe, understands that their opinion is respected and that there is balance in the world, when no one is able to force others to live and behave as the hegemon wishes,” he said.
“I have to say, unfortunately, that our counterparts in the West have lost their sense of reality and have crossed all possible boundaries.”
Putin repeated the claim that “we haven’t started the so-called war in Ukraine” during his Valdai speech.
“On the contrary, we’re trying to end it,” he said.