Putin talks to reporters following SCO summit on various issues
Russian President Vladimir Putin answers reporters' questions on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit.
Despite the Western countries' much-wanted goal of leading Russia to collapse, it will not, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at the summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Samarkand on Friday.
"For decades, the West has been cultivating the idea of the collapse of Russia. The West won't live to see Russia's collapse," Putin said, adding that Russia launched the special military operation in Ukraine to prevent the West from creating an anti-Russian enclave.
Commenting on the decision by the Kiev authorities to abandon all agreements with Russia and seek victory on the battlefield, Putin said, "The troops were withdrawn from Kiev in order to create conditions for the conclusion of this agreement. Instead of concluding it, the Kiev authorities immediately abandoned all agreements, they were thrown into a box. They announced that they would not seek any agreements with Russia, but would seek victory on the battlefield. Well, as you wish. They are just trying to do this by conducting this counteroffensive."
As for Ukraine's security guarantees, "there were rather tough guarantees, guarantees were required from our side, the main NATO countries, regional countries, including Turkey, in general, we agreed with this in general, there were some things that required such minor adjustments but we agreed in general. This is a very important demand but Kiev authorities than delayed it," Putin told reporters.
Putin also talked about the plan of Russia’s military operation, saying it is not being corrected, but some operational decisions are made on the ground.
"The plan is not subject to adjustment, the General Staff makes operational decisions during the operation, something is considered key, the main goal is to liberate the entire territory of Donbas. This work continues despite these counteroffensive attempts by the Ukrainian military," Putin said, adding that Ukraine's offensive does not stop, but Russia is not in a hurry.
In another context, the Russian President told reporters that he has been invited to the G20 summit in Indonesia and added, "We will see how the situation will develop in the economy and in other areas."
Regarding the European Commission's decision to put restrictions on Russian grain exports to developing countries, Putin described it as "disgusting."
"The same applies to the export of our fertilizers. Well, this is generally unprecedented, this is a disgusting decision, I would say, on the part of the European Commission, just a sham. Remove the ban on the purchase of our fertilizers, but only for their own countries, for the EU member states. What about the poorest countries in the world?" Putin said.
Putin also commented on Ukraine's attacks on Russian infrastructure, saying that "For the time being, Russia has moderately responded to the Ukrainian attacks on infrastructure and terrorist acts."
Not familiar with Kiev's proposals on security guarantees
At a press conference following his visit to Uzbekistan, President Putin said he was not familiar with the document on Ukraine's security guarantees.
“To be honest, I am not familiar with what they are proposing this time. We, in fact, started with this. We spoke when we were negotiating with the current Kiev authorities, and essentially completed this negotiation process in Istanbul with the well-known draft Istanbul agreement, after which troops were withdrawn from Kiev in order to create conditions for concluding this agreement."
Instead of concluding it, Kiev's authorities immediately abandoned all agreements, "thrown them into a box," Putin stated.
Putin also commented on the Americans and the grain exports by saying, "They seem to have lifted sanctions on our fertilizers. The Americans, by the way, were the first to remove them. Americans in general are pragmatic people. When we talk about exporting grain from Ukraine, do you know who exports it? American companies, they are the owners of this grain in general, in a significant part. It turned out that the land in Ukraine were sold to American companies a long time ago, this is their grain, they export their grain."
Russia-China trade will reach $200 billion "very soon"
The Russian President said he discussed with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, trading in national currencies, which is increasing but not at the desired pace, and ways to counter trade wars.
"We talked about the need to expand trade and settlements in national currencies - they are growing gradually, not as fast as we all would like, but nevertheless, all this is moving forward," Putin said, adding that Russian-Chinese trade will reach $200 billion "very soon."
Gazprom always fulfills contractual obligations
On Thursday, Gazprom Management Committee Deputy Chairman Oleg Aksyutin said that the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline could solve all of the European Union's current energy problems; however, European politicians are opposing this decision.
In the same context, he affirmed that Gazprom is still carrying out all of its investment projects.
In this regard, Putin said the West should contact Kiev if they want another route for gas deliveries.
"Call Kiev, let them open the second route," Putin told reporters, adding that Gazprom always fulfills its contractual obligations, and he noted that Europe can always lift sanctions from the Nord Stream 2 pipeline if they face issues with gas shortages.
Putin added that the Siemens company confirmed that the turbines of the Nord Stream pipeline are out of service.
"They saw and recorded it. They put their signatures under the act. It [the turbine] is necessary to repair, it is impossible to operate," Putin said.