MOSCOW: Russian President Vladimir Putin reminded the world of the West’s colonial policy, plundering of India and Africa, slave trade, and the use of nuclear and chemical weapons by the US, as he slammed them for their “utter deceit” and “double standards” on insisting on a rules-based global order.
“The West … began its colonial policy back in the Middle Ages, and then followed the slave trade, the genocide of Indian tribes in America, the plunder of India, of Africa, the wars of England and France against China … What they did was hooking entire nations on drugs, deliberately exterminate entire ethnic groups,” said Putin in a carefully-choreographed formal speech at the Kremlin’s opulent St George’s Hall on September 30.
At the grand ceremony, Putin also formally announced the annexation of Ukraine’s four regions – Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhia and claimed that “this is the will of millions of people”. “For the sake of land and resources, they (the West) hunted people like animals. This is contrary to the very nature of man, truth, freedom and justice,” Putin was quoted as saying. “Following their goals, our geopolitical opponents – our opponents as we called them until quite recently – are prepared to put anyone, any country, in the line of fire; to turn it into the epicentre of a crisis; to provoke a “colour revolution” and unleash a bloodbath,” Putin said.
Putin said the residents in the four annexed regions will now be Russia’s “citizens forever”. While denying seeking revival of the Soviet Union by the said annexation, Putin accused Western states – which have imposed sweeping sanctions on Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine.
Moreover, in a strong statement, Putin also added that Russia would now defend its new territory “with all the means at its disposal.”
Putin also accused the West of sabotaging Russia-built natural gas pipelines under the Baltic Sea to Germany, a charge vehemently denied by the United States and its allies. Nordic nations said the undersea blasts that damaged the pipelines this week and have led to huge methane leaks involved several hundred pounds of explosives.
In Washington, US President Joe Biden’s administration dismissed Putin’s pipeline claims as outlandish. The European Council, in a statement, “firmly” rejected and “unequivocally” condemned the “illegal annexation” of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhia and Kherson regions by Russia. “By willfully undermining the rules-based international order and blatantly violating the fundamental rights of Ukraine to independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, core principles as enshrined in the UN Charter and international law, Russia is putting global security at risk,” the statement said.