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    Vladimir Putin Speaks at 14th Valdai Club Meeting (VIDEO)

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    World's senior politicians and public figures are speaking at the 14th annual meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club that is currently being held in the southern Russian resort city of Sochi.

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    The forum was established in 2004 and has been held annually. This year's event started on October 16. The Valdai Discussion Club is aimed at facilitating political dialogue for resolving conflicts peacefully, as well as analyzing the world's economic and social development.

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    • 21:16

      US Actions Toward Russian Diplomatic Missions Resonate From Bilateral Problems

      Actions of Washington regarding Russian diplomatic missions in the United States is a result of the problems accumulated in the bilateral relations between the countries, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday.

      "You have a hysteria out there, we have discontent, you rip down our flags, shut down our diplomatic missions, what's so good about it? This is a result of the accumulated problems," Putin said at the final plenary session of the 14th annual session of the Valdai International Discussions Club in Russia’s Black Sea resort of Sochi.

      The Russian president added that he was convinced that these problems can be resolved.

      "We have gathered here not to compliment and flatter each other, but to identify and name the problems, where they come from and think about how we can solve them. Can we solve them or not? I think we can," Putin said.

      However, the Russian leader pointed out that Moscow was ready to cooperate with Washington only if the United States makes a step forward and demonstrates that it is willing to work with Russia.

      "We will work against all the odds, if only [the United States] wants it. [If] it doesn't want, we won't," Putin added.

      Over the recent months, Russia-US relations have deteriorated considerably after Washington demanded that Moscow shut down several of its diplomatic facilities in the United States, including the Consulate General in San Francisco. Washington's actions came after Moscow cut the diplomatic presence of the United States to 455 people, the same number of diplomatic personnel that Russia had in the United States. According to Russian officials, the measures were taken in response to the anti-Russia policy of the United States and the newest package of anti-Moscow sanctions signed by Trump in August.

    • 21:13

      Putin Says Western Countries Committed Major Mistake by Abusing Russia's Trust

      Russia’s major mistake in relations with the Western countries was trusting them too much and letting them abuse Moscow’s trust, Vladimir Putin said.

      “The main mistake on our side in relations with the West is that we trusted you too much, while your mistake was mistaking that trust for weakness and abusing this trust,” Putin said while answering a question of a Western reporter on what mistakes Russia committed in ties with the West over the last 15 years.

      Russia has learned its lesson and decided to change its strategy in foreign affairs, according to the president.

      “Realizing this, we need to cross out what happened, flip the page and move on, building our relations on mutual respect and treating each other as equal partners,” Putin added.

    • 20:33

      Trump Prevented From Implementing Election Campaign Pledges

      "As for his unpredictability, it is not only because of him, it is also tied to the strong resistance within the country. He is basically not allowed to implement any of his election platforms and plans, be it in healthcare or in something else. He makes a decision on migrants and a court immediately blocks it, it is happening all the time. Therefore saying that his unpredictability only depends on him – no, it depends on the entire US political system," Putin said at the final plenary session of the Valdai International Discussions Club in Russia’s Black Sea resort of Sochi.

      An expert at the Valdai Discussion Club's meeting in Sochi asked Putin what advice he would give to Trump to be a good president.

      The US leader "does not need any advice, because to be elected, even without the experience of such huge administrative work, you need to have a certain talent and go through this crucible. He did it and won in an honest way," Putin said.

    • 20:24

      ‘Nonconstructive’ Political Games Started After Tragic Death of Magnitsky

      Various irrational political games started after Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky tragically passed away in prison in 2009, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday.

      Putin noted that when Magnitsky died, he served as prime minister, and monitored the events around the case of the Russian lawyer and discussed it with then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

      "It seemed completely unexpected and strange to us that such political games have occurred around the tragic death of this man. These are very non-constructive political games around things that in reality should not be worked in such a way and blown out of proportion," Putin said at the Valdai Discussion Club, held in Sochi.

      Putin stressed that all events around this case were caused by illegal activities of a group led by UK millionaire and Hermitage Capital Management CEO William Browder, who had been living in Russia as a tourist for ten years and was involved in illegal activities, such tax evasion, both in Russia and in the United States, such buying shares of Russian companies without the right to do so.

      For his crimes, Browder has been convicted in absentia to 9 years in prison in Russia, Putin recalled, and underlined that the Magnitsky case is used for anti-Russian hysteria abroad even though the whole case is based on crime and theft.

      "In recent years, according to the open data of US company Ziff Brothers, with whom Browder is connected, finances the Democrats or, to a lesser extent, the Republicans. They protect themselves this way," Putin said.

      The last transfer of money to the Democrats by the company amounted to around $1.2 million, according to the president.

      Sergei Magnitsky, who worked for Browder, was a legal consultant for the London-based Hermitage Capital Management investment fund and was detained in 2008 on suspicion of involvement in a tax evasion scheme. Less than a year later, Magnitsky died of heart failure while in custody. An official investigation closed the criminal case into the death of Magnitsky, citing lack of criminal evidence.

      In late 2012, the United States adopted the Magnitsky Act, imposing travel bans and economic sanctions against Russian officials allegedly involved in the lawyer's death.

    • 20:15

      Moscow-Washington Problems Can Be Solved - Russian President

    • 19:51

      Terrorists in Syria Likely to Be Destroyed in Near Future – Putin

      here are reasons to believe that terrorists in Syria will be destroyed in the near future, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday.

      "There are all grounds to believe, I would say, cautiously, that we will finally beat the terrorists there [in Syria] in the near future," Putin said at the final plenary session of the Valdai International Discussions Club in Russia’s Black Sea resort of Sochi.

      However, the president added that destruction of terrorists in Syria would not mean the threat was overcome "for Syria, as well as for the region and for the world in general."

      Putin urged "to be on alert always."

      "Terrorism as a phenomenon has deep roots. Its roots are in unfairness of the modern world, in deprivation of many peoples and ethnic and religious groups and in the lack of systematic education in entire states. It’s the lack of normal, good basic education, it’s one of the breeding grounds of terrorism," the president explained.

    • 19:37

      Moscow Needs 'Friendly' Ukraine, Will Work With EU to Stabilize Situation in Country

      Russia is ready to return to a constructive dialogue with Ukraine as Moscow does not need any conflicts on its borders, Russian President Vladimir Putin said during the final plenary session of the Valdai Discussion Club on Thursday.

      "Let's return to a constructive, substantial, 'substantive,' as the diplomats say, dialogue. We are ready, we will do it with pleasure, and the sooner the better. We do not need any conflicts on our borders," Putin said.

      The Russian leader added that Moscow will work together with the European partners to normalize the situation in crisis-hit Ukraine.

      "We will work in close cooperation [with European partners], and we will do everything to normalize the situation there as we need a democratic, friendly Ukraine," Putin stressed.

    • 19:23

      Non-Admission of Russia to Olympic Games Will Harm Olympic Movement - Putin

    • 19:20

      Creation of People's Congress in Syria 'Could Pave the Way to Political Settltment' in Country

      Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday that there creating a congress of the peoples of Syria could be the next step in political settlement in the country.

      "On the basis of creating de-escalation zones we hope to move to the next stage. There is an idea to create a congress of the Syrian peoples, for all ethnic and religious groups, the government and the opposition to take part in it," Putin said at the final plenary session of the 14th annual session of the Valdai International Discussions Club in Russia’s Black Sea resort of Sochi.

      The president added that creation of such a congress could become an important step toward the political settlement, adding that preparing the country’s new constitution was also possible.

      "If we manage to do that, also with the support of both the guarantor states and the regional major forces, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, it would be the next, an additional but a very important step toward the political settlement. And then, possibly, to development of a new constitution. But it is too early to speak about it yet. But that is approximately what the plan looks like," Putin explained.

    • 19:16

      Putin on Prospects of a Woman Becoming President of Russia: Everything is Possible

    • 19:11

      Global Oil Price at $50 Per Barrel is Fair, Moscow is Satisfied With That

    • 19:04

      Moscow, Riyadh Have 'No Serious Reasons for Disagreement'

    • 18:56

      Putin Vows Immediate Repsonse if US Acts Against Russian Media

      Amid the pressure that the Russian media outlets are subjected to in the United States, Vladimir Putin said he praised the work of the Sputnik news agency and the RT broadcaster.

      "The situation around our [Russian] media, which are not comparable, which are smaller in capacity, than the US or the UK media, I do not even know how to call this. Bewilderment is a word too mild, everything is upside down," Putin said.

      The Russian president also touched upon the accusations against RT about the broadcaster’s alleged interference with the 2016 US president election.

      "The whole world knows how, let us say, UK or US media conduct themselves in the world. They directly constantly influence the internal political processes in almost every country," Putin pointed out.

      "There is the only democratic way of tackling the thing that someone, the authorities or the opposition, does not like. It is to express your opinion so brightly, vividly and with such talent, that people trust your point of view, accept your position. All the rest is not democratic," the Russian president added.

    • 18:48
    • 18:47

      Putin: William Browder is Financing US Politcal Parties Through His Company

    • 18:43

      UN Court's Ruling on Kosovo 'Opened Pandora's Box'

      The advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice on the accordance of Kosovo's unilateral independence declaration with international law opened Pandora's box, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday.

      "All the estimates and conclusions of the court do not only concern Kosovo's case but [they also concern] the issues of applicability of the international law to declaring independence by a part of a state in general. From this point of view ... this extensive interpretation is not applicable to Kosovo. It has opened Pandora's box," Putin said during the plenary session of the Valdai International Discussions Club in Russia’s Black Sea resort of Sochi.

      The Russian president reminded the advisory opinion's paragraph saying that the state practice pointed to the conclusion that international law contained no prohibitions of declarations of independence.

      "The International Court believes that the general international law does not contain any applicable prohibition on the declaration of independence. Thus, it concludes that [Kosovo’s] independence declaration did not violate the general international law … We know for certain how the Western countries have been achieving all this, pressuring this International Court in The Hague - what the United States recommended to the international court," Putin added.

      Putin also cited reactions to the ruling on Kosovo of the International Court of Justice from the United States, Germany, and France. The statements, read out by the Russian president, praised the court’s decision to recognize Kosovo’s declaration compliance with the international law.

      "Now when these ‘other significant problems’ emerged, including those in Catalonia, no one likes it. This is what I had called the double standard. All this is an example [proving that] the Pandora’s box had been opened," Putin explained, referring to the wording in France’s reaction to the UN court ruling on Kosovo.

    • 18:36

      If Any State Withdraws From INF Treaty, Russia Will Respond in Mirror-Like Manner

    • 18:31

      Moscow is Not Going to Withdraw From New Start Treaty Amid Partners' Discontent with It - Russian President

    • 18:29

      Putin: Russia Ready to Develop New Weapon Systems in Response to Other States Doing the Same

    • 18:11

      US 'Remains the Sole and Most Powerful Possessor' of Weapons of Mass Destruction

      "As is known, in 2002, the United States withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, and, as initiators of the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons... it initiated the agreement but does not fulfill its obligations," Putin said at the Valdai Discussion Club.

      "The country remains the sole and most powerful possessor of that type [of weapons] of mass destruction. Moreover, the US moved the deadline for the destruction of its chemical weapons from 2007 to 2023. For a state proclaiming itself to be a champion in nonproliferation and arms control, it is inappropriate," he said.

    • 17:47

      Afghanistan's Former President Hamid Karzai Speaks at Valdai Discussion Club Meeting

      The former leader has called on the United States to acknowledge that their policies in Afghanistan failed and proposed a detailed plan of action for the country.

      "I propose to our ally the US the following. We will also succeed if you tell us that you have failed. Russia will understand, China will understand, Iran, Pakistan, India will understand, everybody will understand. We see all the signs of failure there, but if you don't tell us that you failed then is this a game? Of course, we're not going to play a game of extremism there. That's why many people ask in Afghanistan and elsewhere whether extremism is a tool and a pretext. Are we really fighting extremism or not? Or are we pretending to be fighting extremism?"

      Karzai suggested that the United States should re-engage in a new contact with the Afghan people, giving them a real opportunity to control changes in the country, and called on Washington to cooperate with regional players like China, Russia and India, and support Afghans' own conflict-resolving mechanisms, namely the traditional grand assembly of elders.

    • 18:03

      Politics Increasingly Interferes in Economy - Putin

      "We are seeing more and more examples of politics rudely interfering in economic relations. Not so long ago it was said that it is impossible, counterproductive and should not be allowed. Now, those who said it are doing exactly that. Some are not even hiding that they are using political pretexts and reasons to promote their own, purely commercial, interests," Putin said at the final plenary session of the annual meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi.

      The Russian president mentioned the sanctions recently adopted by the US Congress, which are "obviously aiming to push Russia out of European energy markets."

    • 18:01

      Moscow's Stance on Catalonian Crisis: 'Everything That is Happening is a Domestic Affair of Spain'

      "Russia's position here is known: everything that is happening is a domestic affair of Spain, and should be settled within the framework of Spanish law in accordance with democratic traditions," Putin said at the final plenary session of the annual meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club.

      Moscow hopes that the dispute over Catalonia's independence from Spain will be resolved in a democratic manner and there will be no political prisoners, the president added.

      "We hope that the problem will be solved on the basis of the Spanish legislation, the constitution ... But of course, in such matters it is necessary to be very careful and very sensitive about what is happening. We hope that everything will be solved within the framework of democratic procedures and there will be no political prisoners," Putin said at the final plenary session of the annual meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi.

    • 17:55

      North Korea 'Sovereign State', Differences Should Be Resolved in Civilized Manner

      "Whether one likes the North Korean regime or not – it should not be forgotten that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea is a sovereign state. Any contradictions must be resolved in a civilized manner. Russia has always been calling for such approach," Vladimir Putin said at the final plenary session of the 14th annual session of the Valdai International Discussions Club in Russia’s Black Sea resort of Sochi.

    • 17:52

      US Approach to Weapons-Grade Plutonium Deal 'Causes Bewilderment'

      "What about the disposal of plutonium itself? As it turns out, this is expected to be done [in US] by dilution and geological burial. But this completely contradicts both the spirit and letter of the agreement [the Russian-US agreement on the disposal of plutonium], and most importantly it does not guarantee the impossibility of getting back weapons-grade material. All this is very sad and causes bewilderment," Putin said the final plenary session of the 14th annual session of the Valdai International Discussions Club in Russia’s Black Sea resort of Sochi.

    • 17:48

      Alibaba's Jack Ma Delivering Speech at Valdai Club Meeting in Sochi

    • 17:36

      'Disrupted Balance' on International Arena Leads to Tough Conflicts

      "It is obvious that the interests of states do not coincide in everything. It is normal and natural, it has been like that forever. Leading states have different geopolitical strategies and views on the world. This is the immanent nature of international relations, which are based on the balance of cooperation and competition. However, when this balance is disrupted, when the observance or even the existence of universal laws of conduct is doubted, when the interests are pushed through at any cost, contradictions become unpredictable and dangerous, they lead to harsh conflicts," Putin said at the final plenary session of the annual meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi.

      At the same time, the Russian president added, such environment hampers resolution of international problems and leads to a downgrade in the relations between the countries.

    • 17:32

      'No Alternative': Putin Says UN Should Remain at the Center of International System

      "The United Nations has no alternative today," Putin said at the final plenary session of the annual meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club, adding that the organization "with its universal legitimacy must remain the center of the international system, and the universal task is to increase its authority and effectiveness."

      However, Putin added that the organization needs reforms, but stressed that they must be gradual.

      "The reforms are needed, perfecting the system of the United Nations is needed. But the reforms can only be gradual, evolutionary, and of course they must be supported by the overwhelming majority of the actors of the international process, by a wide consensus," Putin explained.

    • 17:24

      Fake Fight Against Terorrism

      The president has said that certain countries are not fighting terrorism but are just imitating "strikes" instead.

      "The Syrian experience has shown there is alternative to any destructive policy. Russia is fighting terrorists jointly with the legitimate government of Syria and other states of the region in accordance with international law," Putin observed.

    • 17:12

      West is Becoming Increasingly 'Selfish'

      "Yes, we hear the declarations [of the western states] about their commitment to resolving global problems. However, in fact, we see more and more selfishness. The international institutions, which are designated to harmonize interests and elaborate a common agenda, are being eroded. Basic multilateral international treaties and the most vital bilateral agreements are being depreciated," Putin said at the final plenary session of the annual meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club.

    • 17:10

      Double Standards Pose Threat to Development of Europe

      "In the view of some of our colleagues, there are right fighters in the cause of independence and freedom, and there are separatists who can't even defend their rights with the help of democratic mechanisms," the Russian president said at a plenary meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club.

      "Such, as we say, double standards... carry a serious threat to the stable development of Europe and other continents. to the promotion of integration processes across the world," he added.

    • 17:05

      Russia Condemns Nuclear Tests in North Korea

      "Yes, we certainly condemn the nuclear tests conducted by North Korea. We fully comply with all the decisions concerning North Korea adopted within the framework of the UN Security Council. I want to emphasize this, my colleagues, so that there is no double interpretation here," according to the Russian leader.

    • 17:02

      'There is Less Security in the World, Radicals and Extremists Gain Freedom'

      "There is less security in the world. Instead of progress and democracy, we see radical elements, extremist groups that deny civilization itself, seek to plunge it into archaism and into chaos, into barbarism," the president said.

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    Vladimir Putin Speaks at 14th Valdai Club Meeting (VIDEO)
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