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Putin - West can’t impose values on rest of the world

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Russian President Vladimir Putin (Photo by AFP)

Russian President Vladimir Putin has criticized some Western powers for trying to impose their values and version of “democracy” on the rest of the world.

Putin said in a documentary aired on Russian state television on Sunday that the leaders of certain Western countries had no right to force their ways on African and Middle Eastern nations.

“You can’t just impose your version of democracy, of good and evil, onto people of other cultures, with other religions and traditions in this mechanic, automatic way,” the Russian leader said in the documentary, titled World Order.

Referring to the issue of foreign interference in the internal affairs of countries, Putin said, “The most important thing is not to undermine legitimate governments, not to destroy their statehood even if it appears to be imperfect.”

The Russian president further slammed the West for thinking they are “infallible,” and still managing to refuse to take responsibility for their actions in different parts of the world whenever they deem it necessary.

Pointing to the crisis in Syria, Putin said Russia is ready to cooperate with all parties interested in resolving the conflict.

“It is easy for us to work with [Syrian] President [Bashar] Assad and with the American side – I’ve talked about it recently with [US] President [Barack] Obama – and with our friends from the Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries. Why is it easy? We do not wag the tail and change our position. We slowly, before formulating our own position, listened to everybody and chose the line which we think is acceptable to everyone,” Putin said.

Russia has been carrying out airstrikes against Daesh terrorists in Syria since September 30. The aerial campaign was launched following a formal request by the government of Assad. Many Western governments have been demanding Assad’s removal from power.

A file picture taken on December 16, 2015 shows two Russian Sukhoi Su-24 bombers at the Russian Hmeimim military base in Latakia Province, in the northwest of Syria. (AFP Photo)

This comes as since August 2014, the US along with some of its allies has been launching attacks against alleged positions of Daesh Takfiri terrorists without any authorization from Damascus or a UN mandate.

Syria has slammed the United States and its allies for damaging the Arab country’s infrastructure as well as killing and injuring civilians.

Elsewhere in the documentary, Putin accused different Western governments of failing to be sincere in their claims of seeking the protection of Ukraine’s interests in their stance regarding Russia and the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

Moscow has been targeted by Western sanctions over the accusation that it has a hand in the conflict, which has seen thousands killed in clashes between pro-Russia forces and the Ukrainian army following a Western-backed anti-government coup since last April. Russia denies the allegation.

According to Putin, some Western countries that lack an independent foreign policy are going against Moscow over Ukraine in a move aimed at preventing the “recreation of the Soviet Union.”

“I am convinced that the position of our Western partners – Europe and the US – is not to do with the protection of Ukraine’s interests, but with attempts to prevent the re-creation of the Soviet Union. And nobody wants to believe us that Russia doesn’t aim to re-create the Soviet Union.”

Moscow-Kiev relations began to sour after Ukraine’s Black Sea peninsula of Crimea rejoined the Russian Federation following a referendum in March 2014. Tensions significantly escalated after the new government in Kiev launched military operations against the Russian-speaking regions of Donetsk and Lugansk the following month.


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