On Tuesday Russian President Vladimir Putin weighed on on major security issues ranging from the ongoing war in Ukraine to China-US tensions over Taiwan in a televised speech. Speaking before defense officials and regional think tank analysts at the Tenth Moscow Conference on International Security, among the most notable assertion of his is that NATO is moving "further east".
Within days prior to launching the Feb.24 invasion of Ukraine, he gave what was essentially a war speech emphasizing that urgent military action was needed to prevent NATO's further expansion into Ukraine. But it seems that in his latest comments Tuesday, he sees the threat of NATO influence at work as far as southeast Asia as well.
In the fresh remarks, Putin continued his prior theme of a turn from unipolar to multi-polar world order, based on the decline of the United States and West. He said as translated in state media:
"Western globalist elites are provoking chaos by rekindling old and inciting new conflicts, implementing a policy of so-called containment, while undermining any alternative, sovereign paths of development. Thus, they are desperately trying to preserve the hegemony and power that are slipping out of their grasp, trying to keep countries and peoples in the grip of a neo-colonial order."
He blasted this Western "hegemony" as what in the end will result in global stagnation. Further he said:
"NATO's war machine is moving, approaching Russia's borders closely... Russia has been trying for 30 years to negotiate NATO non-expansion to the east..."
The Russian leader continued, "Any means are used. The United States and its vassals rudely interfere in the internal affairs of sovereign states by organizing provocations, coups d'état and civil wars. Threats, blackmail and pressure are resorted to in a bid to force independent states to submit to their will."
The Kremlin has long emphasized that the 2014 overthrow of pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych was the real start of hostilities in Ukraine, and that it was fundamentally Washington and its EU allies behind it. The West, however, has rejected this narrative - emphasizing the Maidan events as a spontaneous democratic uprising.
On expanding East, he said of NATO:
"The so-called collective West is deliberately destroying the European security system, putting together new military alliances. The NATO bloc is expanding East, building up its military infrastructure, deploying missile defense systems and increasing the strike capabilities of its offensive forces."
In this context he again stressed that just before Russia's "special operation" in Ukraine, Moscow repeatedly submitted requests for security 'guarantees' to NATO, but that this was ignored. He said this is what has damaged European security. He also charged that the West in the end sees the Ukrainian people as "cannon fodder" for its proxy war.
Putin's defense minister has also of late been stressing the role of the West in planning and executing Ukrainian military actions, also as Crimea has recently come under rare attack...
🧵— The Eurasianist ☦️ (@Russ_Warrior) August 16, 2022
Russian Defense Minister Shoigu: "Operations of the Ukrainian armed forces are planned in Washington and London. pic.twitter.com/VMloU3FqXt
Interestingly, in the speech he turned his attention to rising China tensions, charging that the US is still trying to add "fuel to the fire" over the Taiwan issue. This echoes precisely Beijing's own line, as the two countries continue to grow lockstep while under the crosshairs of Washington. He called Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan a "carefully planned provocation" meant to whip up tensions.
China will without doubt applaud Putin's fierce defense of Beijing's point of view:
Vladimir Putin sounds the alarm about the West's creation of NATO in the Asia-Pacific region— Samuel Ramani (@SamRamani2) August 16, 2022
This message will appeal strongly to China, as will Putin's scathing attacks on Nancy Pelosi's Taiwan visit at the Moscow International Security Conference
"The American reckless gamble in relation to Taiwan is not just a visit by an individual irresponsible politician, but part of a purposeful, conscious US strategy to destabilize… the situation in the region and the world, a brazen demonstration of disrespect for the sovereignty of other countries and for its international obligations. We see this as a carefully planned provocation," Putin said.