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The Neocolonial System Has Ceased To Exist, Putin Tells SPIEF

June 16, 2023, 2022 (EIRNS)—Speaking at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) (in Russian) on June 16, President Vladimir Putin—who was joined by his special guest, Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune and moderator Dimitri Simes—presented a very upbeat picture of the development of the economy in spite of, or even as a result of, the sanctions imposed by the U.S. and its allies. He noted that the Russian economy has grown by 3.3% in April and that growth for the year could reach 2%, while inflation is at a near low at 2.2%. Unemployment is at an all-time low at 3.3%, although Putin admitted that it remains still higher in some regions. He calls for new measures, including implementing e-commerce, to create new opportunities in these regions. He declared that trade with those countries that have not buckled under to U.S. demands is steadily on the rise.

“In general, over the past year, our merchandise exports have updated the record of a decade ago—amounted to $592 billion,” Putin said. “Almost a third of this amount—$188 billion—fell on non-commodity non-energy exports. Behind this figure is 6.4 million jobs and 2.2 trillion rubles in tax payments to the country’s consolidated budget.” He also described that the trade is moving in the direction of non-dollar exchanges. “Today, about 90% of settlements with the countries of the Eurasian Economic Union are in rubles, and more than 80% of settlements with China are in rubles and yuan,” Putin said. “This means that the ugly international system, which was neocolonial in nature, has ceased to exist. Meanwhile the multipolar world order is being reinforced. And this process is inevitable.”

Putin also underlined the fact that Russian businesses have replaced many of the foreign companies that have left Russia under pressure from the West, creating new opportunities for Russian entrepreneurs, which is strongly supported by the government. “Last year alone, Russian manufacturers filed more than 90,000 trademark applications,” Putin said.

He also stressed the importance of the development of transportation infrastructure in refocusing trade to those regions which are open to increased Russian export, to the South and the East.

“We will pay special attention to the North-South corridor [International North-South Transportation Corridor]. We plan to double by 2025 and triple by 2030 the volume of export traffic along this route. In May, as many people know, we signed an agreement with Iranian partners on the construction of the missing railway section on Iranian territory. We are also carrying out dredging work on the Volga-Caspian Canal: already this year it will be able to receive vessels with a draft of 4.5 meters.

“As for the Eastern direction, by 2025 its export freight volumes will grow by a third and another 100 million to the 2022 figures will be added by 2030. Here, the key is to increase the transport capacity of the Baikal System, the Baikal-Amur Mainline, and the Trans-Siberian Railway. Already this year it will add 15 million tonnes to reach 173 million tonnes,”

said the President.

During the Q&A, Putin expounded on the last-ditch nature in the use of tactical nuclear weapons, which he hoped the situation would never require, the importance of the de-dollarization, and an extensive comment on the nature of the Banderites now in control in Kiev. He even showed an extremely dramatic and moving film footage from the war years, depicting the Babi Yar massacre and other crimes committed by the Banderists. The faces of members in the audience showed how stunned they were by the footage. After the film was shown, Putin went on: “This is Bandera and his henchmen. These are those who today are the heroes of Ukraine, and these are those whom the current Ukrainian authorities protect: both personally and their ideology. How can you not fight this? We have to fight this. Russia is the most affected country in the fight against Nazism. We will never forget this.”

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