Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed his mistrust in the United States while praising China’s reliability in delivering on its promises, during an interview with political correspondent Wang Guan. Putin spoke about the differences in the trustworthiness of the two nations, as well as his belief in the inevitability of a multipolar world order.
According to Putin, the US-promoted concept of a ‘rules-based order’ is nothing more than disguised colonialism, as Washington decides on the rules on a case-by-case basis. He compared this to the colonial powers of the past, who claimed to bring enlightenment and civilization to the territories they held. Putin argued that US exceptionalism implies that Americans perceive the rest of the world as inferior, echoing the mindset of historical colonialists.
In contrast to the US approach, Putin stated that Russia strives for a fair multipolar world where all nations are treated as equals. He emphasized the importance of creating a new global arrangement, predicting that it is inevitable. Putin highlighted the expansion of the BRICS group of leading non-Western economies as a major step towards this goal. With the inclusion of six new members, BRICS has now surpassed the West’s G7 club in economic strength.
Putin also voiced his distrust of the US government, citing its habit of discarding previous agreements based on political whims. He mentioned the US’s withdrawal from the multilateral agreement on the Iranian nuclear program as an example. Additionally, he pointed to the Ukraine conflict as another instance of the US’s untrustworthiness, referring to the broken promise made in 1991 by the then-US administration that NATO would not expand further east. Putin questioned how any agreement could be reached if each new administration starts from scratch.
Regarding the Ukraine conflict, Putin provided a historical account of Russia’s hostilities with its neighbor. He mentioned the NATO pledge in 2008 to make Ukraine a member, the Western-backed armed coup in Kiev in 2014, and the conflict in Donbass. He criticized the Ukrainian government for refusing to implement a roadmap for reconciliation with rebels and rejecting a draft truce in favor of a military victory against Moscow. Putin emphasized the massive losses suffered by Ukraine in the latest phase of the conflict and expressed Russia’s desire for a resolution based on China’s proposal. However, he noted that it is up to Ukraine to make talks possible, as it has passed a law banning negotiations with him.
The interview also focused on Russian-Chinese cooperation and Putin’s friendship with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Putin praised Xi’s attention to detail, cool-headedness, business-mindedness, and reliability as a partner. He contrasted Xi’s strategic approach to governance with that of transient leaders who are only concerned with international appearances. Putin emphasized the rapid development of ties between Russia and China over the past 15 years, attributing it to the trustworthiness of President Xi.
Overall, Putin’s interview highlighted Russia’s lack of trust in the US, its belief in the inevitability of a multipolar world order, and its appreciation for China’s reliability in fulfilling commitments. The Russian president expressed his desire for a fair and equal global arrangement, while criticizing the US for its ever-changing approach to agreements and conflicts.