Russian President Vladimir Putin, speaking on Tuesday via video link at the World Russian People’s Council, warned Western countries that Moscow would regard as an act of aggression any external intervention “with the aim of provoking inter-national or inter-regional conflicts”.
In connection with this statement, the Reuters agency reminds us of the presidential elections scheduled for March in Russia. Citing two sources close to the president’s administration, Meduza newspaper reported earlier in November that one of the main topics of Putin’s new presidential campaign will not be the war in Ukraine, but “an emphasis on foreign policy.” The Kremlin is confident that the Russians have an invitation to criticize the “collective West,” Meduza interlocutors noted.
The full-scale invasion of the Russian army in Ukraine from February 2022 led to the most serious confrontation between Moscow and the West since the Caribbean crisis, which was connected with the installation of nuclear missiles in Cuba in 1962 by order of Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev. The current tension in relations with NATO countries prompted Vladimir Putin to turn towards China, Reuters notes.
After the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine, which Moscow associated with the need to “denazify” and “demilitarize” Ukraine, Putin changed the narrative about the war, presenting it as an existential battle with the arrogant West, which, according to the words of the Russian president, is itself in a cultural, social and economic decline.
Speaking on November 28 at the World Russian Council, headed by Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, Vladimir Putin said that Russophobia “practically became the official ideology of the Western right-wing elites.” “They started the old trick again: they say, Russia is a prison of peoples, and the Russians themselves are a people of slaves… But in reality, what do they need? In fact, they need
will dismember and plunder Russia,” Putin asserts.
- The Russian presidential election is scheduled for March 2024. Their exact date has not yet been determined, the Federation Council should do it in mid-December.
- Vladimir Putin has held the post of president since 2000 (with a break of 2008–2012). Amendments to the Constitution adopted in Russia in 2020 allow him to run for two more six-year terms. So far, Putin has not directly announced that he will be re-elected, but practically none of the media interlocutors in power circles have any doubts about this.
- Western countries deny accusations of attempts to destabilize Russia. Several packages of tough economic and other sanctions have been introduced against Moscow for encroaching on the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine since 2014.
- A large-scale investigation by the American special prosecutor Robert Mueller found that Russia interfered in the 2016 US presidential election, and that it could have been sanctioned by the country’s leadership. The United States and its allies accuse Russia of meddling in elections in other countries, hacking attacks on international organizations, and other destabilizing actions with the participation of special services. Moscow categorically denies such accusations.