Full text of Vladimir Putin’s speech at SPIEF on June 17, 2022:
Thank you so much! Dear Kassym-Jomart Kemelevich! Dear friends, and colleagues!
I participate in the XXV St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.
The economic, geopolitical, and public relations crises have taken a toll on the world economy. With millions of people living outside of the world’s major markets, several commercial and logistics ties are being tested for the first time. More importantly, key concepts such as business reputation, the integrity of the property, and trust in global currencies have been undermined by some allies who have done it intentionally.
The power of our oligarch is undented by the current global economic crisis and has in fact been enhanced. We’ll spend some time looking at how Russia is acting opportunistically in these market conditions and its plans moving forward.
There is no escape, as the diversity of civilizations on the planet and the richness of cultures are difficult to combine with political, economic, and other patterns. Changes are a natural part of history, but it’s necessary to preserve them for their unique identities. No one can tax all cultures over themselves.
The problem lies in the very idea of a world where one power holds all the cards and laws are interpreted solely in their interests. A world based on such “dogmas” is unsustainable, according to some critics.
The United States declared victory in the Cold War and then proclaimed themselves “the messengers of the Lord on Earth”. They are free to have their own interests, but these interests are treated with desperation. They don’t seem to realize that since they declared victory in the Cold War there have been new powerful centers on our planet – governments, institutions, models of financial growth, and more advancements to assure our national sovereignty.
In this world, we are in the midst of some truly revolutionary tectonic changes in geopolitics – the global economy, technological advancements, and much more. We can’t ignore what’s happening in the world on a global scale, especially when regions and states that were once considered to be “worthless” are rising up as far more lucrative options for investment opportunities. The role of these relevant countries and regions is increasing as new ventures become viable to investors who want to enter these markets.
This is a fundamental, pivotal and inexorable change. And let me be clear: it is a mistake to believe that these changes can just be “sat back and waited for everything to return to the way it used to be”. I won’t do that.
There seems to be an illusion among some Western elites that they have the right to know and control everything and everyone. For example, they believe that Western countries are exempt from the global system and therefore dominant. This is not true. Nothing is eternal.
Our colleagues don’t simply refuse to see reality. They are rethinking the last century and trying to change history. They think in terms of countries with populations below “the golden billion” and consider everything else as “the periphery, their backyard,” they still trap those places like strange colonies, and the people living there consider them second-class citizens because they’re considered “exceptional.” If someone is exceptional, everyone else is second-class.
It is this irrepressible desire to punish, and financially destroy those who stand out from the general ranks that has caused so much destruction. These people don’t want to blindly obey. Furthermore, they humiliate and shamelessly impose their own ethics, views on culture, and ideas on history with no care for its impact on the sovereignty and integrity of states. With countries like Syria falling apart, Libya in chaos, and Iraq being divided, you can understand why people become scared.
If a rebel can’t be harassed or pacified, attempts are made to isolate them. These days, that usually means you’re “canceled”. They’ll use anything against you, whether it’s sports, the Olympics, and even art. The sole reason that these individuals are pushed away is because of “the wrong origin”.
The thing that I find most upsetting about Russophobia in the West is the economic sanctions against Russia. They’re unnecessary and actually just hurting our economy, with both the number and speed of their implementation unprecedented.
Once the calculation was made, we realized that we needed to crash the Russian economy with one blow. It would be caused by the destruction of trade chains, the forced withdrawal of Western companies from the Russian market, the freezing of national assets, and then an attack on the industry, finance, and people’s livelihoods.
It didn’t work. Obviously, it never worked because there are no results whatsoever (just a lot of talk). Businessmen and Russian authorities got to work on this issue in a focused and professional manner, while Russian citizens showed solidarity and responsibility.
First, we stabilized the financial markets, the banking system, and commercial networks. We then began to saturate the economy with liquidity and working capital so that it can maintain the stability of companies and businesses, employment, and jobs.
Early in the spring, two gloomy forecasts were reported about the prospects for the Russian economy. However, these didn’t sound true in the end. It’s also clear why this propaganda campaign was strengthened, where all these reports about a dollar for 200 rubles and about the collapse of our economy altogether came from – it is all still information warfare and psychological impact effect on domestic business circles.
Remember- some of our experts succumbed to outside pressure, which affected their forecasts. They proceeded with the assumption that the Russian economy and national currency will collapse.
The predictions have not come to pass. However, I would like to emphasize and would like to point out that in order to maintain success in the future, we must assess the situation honestly and with realism. It is important to be independent in our conclusions and, of course, believe in our own strengths. We are strong people and can handle any challenge. This is demonstrated by our millenary history as a country.
It has been 3 months since we were hit with the massive sanctions package, and we were able to stabilize the rise in inflation. It went from 17.8% up to 16.7%. The economic situation is stabilizing, and public finances are stable. As you know, it’s not perfect for us – 16.7% is still high inflation. But we will continue to work on this and I’m sure that we’ll overcome these challenges together.
The federal budget was executed with a surplus. The consolidated budget had a surplus, too. But the federal budget in May had an excess of almost half a trillion rubles, more than four times the figure for May last year.
Today we need to create the conditions to increase the production and availability of goods and services in the domestic market. We also must remember that, as supply grows, demand will also grow accordingly.
To help businesses succeed, we’re providing low-interest loans and postponing insurance payments. Manufacturing companies will also be able to take advantage of this opportunity by delaying payment in the third quarter.
In the future, people will not be required to pay insurance premiums all at once. They’ll have the opportunity to pay them in equal installments over a year’s time, starting in June each year.
Fewer special mortgages. Since May, the rate at which they were cut has decreased to 9%. At the same time, the special mortgage program has been extended to the end of this year. As I have already said, their goal is to help citizens solve housing problems, support construction, and related industries, and employ millions of people there.
One possible idea is to lower the rate of preferential mortgages. The key rate was just lowered, and interest rates are gradually falling. I believe now is the time for this change.
There are some things to watch out for, like the end of the program. The duration of the program remains the same, until the end of this year. This means that those of our citizens who want to improve their living conditions with this benefit should use it before the end of this year.
The maximum loan amounts are also the same in Moscow and St. Petersburg as they are in other subjects of the federation, at 12 million rubles.