Date: Saturday, 29 July 2023
Vladimir Putin: Dear Mr President! Dear friends!
I am glad of our new meeting and the opportunity to synchronize watches on topical issues. Russian-Eritrean ties are friendly and continue to develop on the principles of equality and mutual respect, and in May this year we celebrated the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations.
Just a couple of months ago you paid a visit to Russia, and we held thorough negotiations with you , discussed promising areas of cooperation between our countries, and outlined concrete steps for their development.
On my instructions, a special high-level interdepartmental working group has been created in the leadership of Russia - under the leadership of my assistant, Mr. [Maxim] Oreshkin, who will work on exploring the possibilities of building up our trade and economic cooperation. We expect the appointment of a coordinator for all these issues from your side.
I very much hope that our today's meeting and your participation today in the all-African discussion will, according to its results, in any case, contribute to strengthening ties between Russia and Eritrea.
I am very glad to see you, and once again - welcome.
I. Afeworki (retranslated) : I listened to how people speak at these meetings. And one issue has been brought up all the time, I would like to emphasize it again: I'm talking about how we perceive the situation from our point of view.
When we talk about the situation between Russia and Ukraine, I say that there is no war between Russia and Ukraine, there is no conflict between Russia and Ukraine. This is the war that NATO has declared against Russia. This is a war declared by NATO to Russia. This is not only a war against Russia, it is a war for hegemony and dominance throughout the world.
The post-Cold War agenda is a fantasy about containing Russia and containing any power, large or small, that challenges it on a cultural, social, technological, political level. They try to keep absolutely everyone. This ideology is flawed. I say that Russia did not prepare for this war, despite the fact that she knew what was happening. NATO is a defective organization, NATO is now in intensive care, and the European Union does not exist, it is in the intensive care unit.
30 years ago, when they made the decision to contain Russia, they perceived Russia as a big threat. China then they did not consider a threat, but now they realized that they were wrong. They made a mistake, because Russia cannot be contained, and they will never succeed in doing so.
Ukraine has become a victim, Ukraine has become the price they are willing to pay. They don't pay themselves. They will provide billions and trillions to continue this war.
And now we have the threat of narratives, because this is not a war between Russia and Ukraine, this is a war that was declared to Russia, because Russia at a certain moment was a threat to them. And now they are trying to contain Russia, to defeat it, in order to become hegemons. At the technological and military level, they must be the strongest, in the economy they want everything, all the resources, all the technologies, they want to control everything.
This dream is no more.
Now Ukraine has become a battlefield and a sacrifice that they bring. Let's remember that such a big meeting between Russia and Africa is a place where people come to a consensus, and we must understand that, from my point of view, there is no war between Russia and Ukraine, and there can be no alternative explanations: this is a war, which Russia has declared is a war for hegemony.
For 30 years we have seen how this war was being prepared. And this last event, in my opinion, is only the final phase. NATO will not leave the intensive care unit, and neither will the European Union. These systems fall apart - it's only a matter of time. And the world must be ready not to defend Russia, but to stand on the same side with Russia, so that this hegemony does not prevail.
How can we develop a plan? How can we fulfill the existing plans without additional costs? They print money. They do not produce anything, they just print money, and for them this is one of the weapons at the global level - a global monetary system controlled by the dollar and the euro. Sanctions here, sanctions there, they grab this, they grab that, bills are a weapon of war for them. And this can't go on forever. We need a new global financial architecture that is not controlled by the dollar or the euro or other currencies.
In my opinion, this failed attempt to contain Russia will move forward.
Containing China is the next item on their agenda. They are now using deceptive tactics, they are trying to pretend that they are working with China. But they miscalculated in relation to China, turned out to be wrong. They have technology. They claim that China will never become their equal and will never pose a threat to them. They tried to contain Russia by cooperating with China, they thought it was easier, and now they can no longer control China and contain China from Taiwan, India, Japan, South Korea, Australia.
How can they do it? There will be further challenges, but first they want to solve the problem of Russia, and then move on to China and beyond. How can they stop us? Imagine: they are trying to contain tiny Eritrea, to punish it with sanctions, but we are inflexible, we do not bow before their threats. We do not pose a threat to them, but they still try to restrain us with endless sanctions. Conflicts here, conflicts there.
We need a strategy. My point is that Russia should take the lead in creating this strategy. Russia must develop a plan for how we should act in the face of this declared war. War has been declared not only on Russia, but on the whole world. We are ready to join Russia in this strategy as soon as possible.
How can we control this hegemonic strategy? Peace and development. Then no one will bother us, no one will try to impose sanctions on us, demonize us, engage in psychological warfare. We need an alternative strategy in this hegemonic war. Bilateral and multilateral activities should culminate in the adoption of such a strategy.
During my speech, I said: Russia must develop a strategy. Not because Russia has to do everything - we are ready to make our contribution, we have ideas. How do we fight this strategy of hegemony? We can carry out bilateral projects in technology, industrialization, agriculture, energy, water development, service provision, tourism and other sectors - that's our plan.
We must look at the situation in a historical context. This is a continuation of classic slavery. After slavery came the era of colonialism. When there was slavery, millions of people died in the Congo, indigenous peoples died in North America, Canada. They seized land that belonged to the indigenous peoples, and when they got that land, they needed slaves from Africa to cultivate the plantations in the United States. This slavery persists.
Then came industrialization. For them, this is still a continuation of the same strategy - to seize other people's resources, continuing the tactics of slavery in a different form - colonialism. They tried to colonize the land in order to control the labor force and turn everyone into slaves.
Cold War. For the peoples of the world, Russia was a hope, the Soviet Union was a hope. Unfortunately, the leaders of the Soviet Union made the wrong decision to end the history of the Soviet Union, and this is a historical tragedy. In the history of mankind, this is a real disaster.
People like Fukuyama and Huntington developed their own strategy to secure hegemony because the Soviet Union collapsed, disintegrated. They thought that they could control the world for centuries to come and no one would challenge them. This is where the fantasy of hegemony was born, hegemonization without end. Over the past 30 years, we have seen the continuation of the same ideology of slavery, colonialism, neo-colonialism, and now - hegemony.
The world must break out of this vicious circle. We are at a crossroads, in the transition to a new world order. How can we develop this new world order? How do we develop a strategy? How can we mobilize resources? How do we tell people around the world that this is a threat to them, that they need to run so they can enjoy their freedom without hegemony?
These issues need to be comprehensively discussed and concrete plans developed in this regard. We are ready to make our modest contribution, but we believe that the partnership between Russia and Africa is one of the important aspects of the global partnership that we have to develop.
Russia will take the lead because they are being acted upon now and they may try to take advantage of the war in Ukraine to weaken Russia. They probably dream about it, so that Russia would fall apart, for them this is a dream. Now they are spending trillions, endlessly printing money in order to control the situation in Ukraine, but sooner or later this will end, and we need to look to the future, what will happen next.
Our bilateral partnership is based on our understanding of Russia's historical mission. Russia has a historical mission on behalf of everyone in the world. Mr. Vladimir Putin is the leader of this process, because such are the times, such are the challenges we face.
I am not flattering you now, I am not playing into your hands now. I am talking about global challenges that we must overcome.
To do this, we need to determine what our role will be in this process. Economic programs, energy, water resources, infrastructure and so on. It is quite simple: we will have a strategy, we will develop specific goals and objectives. When we have a strategy, we will develop detailed plans for each sector of the industry, mobilize resources to implement these programs. The implementation of these programs will change the lives of every person in Africa, Asia, Latin America, even Europe and the United States.
Our detailed plans for specific programs are already ready. We have our own strategic plan for each specific sector. Since 2012, we have been developing infrastructure programs in detail: these are roads, ports, airports, energy programs, programs for the conservation of water resources and the use of water resources, irrigation, new technologies, human resource development.
By the way, we discussed this yesterday with one of your ministers. We have at least agreed on the details of these programs, because the development of human capital is a priority for us. We also have other resources – gas, minerals, natural resources, but the most important thing is human capital. We rely on the Russian Federation in terms of developing our human capital, providing highly qualified specialists.
Do we have money? We will try to mobilize all resources. In this case, we will be able to say to our partners from the Russian Federation: here are our plans, and we are ready to accept your considerations. In this way, we can mobilize both our resources and joint resources in all sectors - in agriculture, mining and so on.
Thank you for your attention. Again, I want to emphasize: we need to define our plans.