Putin in Dialogue on What It Takes To Secure a Nation’s Sovereignty
June 10, 2022 (EIRNS)—The Russian President Vladimir Putin met yesterday with young entrepreneurs, engineers and scientists who will be attending next week’s St. Petersburg International Economics Forum (SPIEF) to hear their ideas preparatory to the forum on where Russia is “now, where we are going and what we need to do to ensure our absolute and unconditional progress, to make it beneficial for the country and everyone involved in this remarkable process” of transforming and changing Russia.
Putin situated this task within Russia’s continuous fight historically to ensure its sovereignty.
In today’s world of rapid “geopolitical, scientific and technological transformations,” Russia, or any country which wishes to exert leadership in any area, must be sovereign, he told them.
“There is no in-between, no intermediate state: either a country is sovereign, or it is a colony, no matter what the colonies are called ... if a country or a group of countries is not able to make sovereign decisions, then it is already a colony to a certain extent. But a colony has no historical prospects, no chance for survival” in what he views as centuries of “tough geopolitical struggle.”
Western leaders with any brain left would do well to give some thought to Putin’s discussion of the essential components of sovereignty: military-political, economic, technical and social. He explained that by “social” sovereignty he means “the ability of society to come together to resolve national challenges, to respect history, culture, language, and all the ethnicities that share a single territory. This consolidation of society is one of the core conditions for growth. Without consolidation, things will fall apart.”
These components are interconnected, and of equal importance, “because one cannot exist without the other.” You cannot have external security without technological capability and technological sovereignty, he said, as exemplified in Russia’s development of hypersonic weapons.
Likewise, how could a society come together to resolve national challenges with “a limping, sneezing and coughing economy? ... And if there is no consolidation, there will be nothing else, either.” To secure both requires dealing with “basic tasks such as demography which means healthcare, environment, research, education and upbringing.”
Putin emphasized the importance of basic values, of culture. Here, he referenced a discussion he had with the Patriarch some time back about education, in which the Patriarch commented that “even though education was indeed crucial, without proper upbringing, we would not succeed at anything, because you can teach a person something, but the question is how they will use their knowledge.”
Thus, “if we do not rely on the basic values of the national cultures of the peoples of Russia,” Putin said, “we will not consolidate our society. Without consolidation, everything will fall apart. And the fact that we have to sort of defend ourselves and fight for it is obvious.”
It was in that context, then, that he made his remarks about Peter the Great and his Great Northern War which have Western commentators in such a tizzy.