President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Ladies
To begin with, I would like to thank you
for coming to Russia and taking part in the Valdai
As always, during these meetings you raise
pressing issues and hold comprehensive discussions
of these issues that, without exaggeration, matter
for people around the world. Once again, the key
theme of the forum was put in a straightforward,
I would even say, point-blank manner: Global
Shake-up in the 21st Century:
The Individual, Values and the State.
Indeed, we are living in an era of great
change. If I may, by tradition, I will offer
my views with regard to the agenda that you have
come up with.
In general, this phrase, “to live in an era
of great change,” may seem trite since we use it so
often. Also, this era of change began quite a long
time ago, and changes have become part of everyday
life. Hence, the question: are they worth focusing
on? I agree with those who made the agenda for these
meetings; of course they are.
In recent decades, many people have cited
a Chinese proverb. The Chinese people are wise,
and they have many thinkers and valuable thoughts
that we can still use today. One of them, as you may
know, says, “God forbid living in a time of change.”
But we are already living in it, whether we like it
or not, and these changes are becoming deeper
and more fundamental. But let us consider another
Chinese wisdom: the word “crisis” consists of two
hieroglyphs – there are probably representatives
of the People's Republic of China in the audience,
and they will correct me if I have it wrong – but,
two hieroglyphs, “danger” and “opportunity.”
And as we say here in Russia, “fight difficulties
with your mind, and fight dangers with your
Of course, we must be aware of the danger
and be ready to counter it, and not just one threat
but many diverse threats that can arise in this era
of change. However, it is no less important
to recall a second component of the crisis –
opportunities that must not be missed, all the more
so since the crisis we are facing is conceptual
and even civilisation-related. This is basically
a crisis of approaches and principles that determine
the very existence of humans on Earth, but we will
have to seriously revise them in any event.
The question is where to move, what to give up, what
to revise or adjust. In saying this, I am convinced
that it is necessary to fight for real values,
upholding them in every way.
Humanity entered into a new era about three
decades ago when the main conditions were created
for ending military-political and ideological
confrontation. I am sure you have talked a lot about
this in this discussion club. Our Foreign Minister
also talked about it, but nevertheless I would like
to repeat several things.
A search for a new balance, sustainable
relations in the social, political, economic,
cultural and military areas and support
for the world system was launched at that time. We
were looking for this support but must say that we
did not find it, at least so far. Meanwhile, those
who felt like the winners after the end of the Cold
War (we have also spoken about this many times)
and thought they climbed Mount Olympus soon
discovered that the ground was falling away
underneath even there, and this time it was their
turn, and nobody could “stop this fleeting moment”
no matter how fair it seemed.
In general, it must have seemed that we
adjusted to this continuous inconstancy,
unpredictability and permanent state of transition,
but this did not happen either.
I would like to add that the transformation
that we are seeing and are part of is of a different
calibre than the changes that repeatedly occurred
in human history, at least those we know about. This
is not simply a shift in the balance of forces
or scientific and technological breakthroughs,
though both are also taking place. Today, we are
facing systemic changes in all directions – from
the increasingly complicated geophysical condition
of our planet to a more paradoxical interpretation
of what a human is and what the reasons for his
Let us look around. And I will say this
again: I will allow myself to express a few thoughts
that I sign on to.
Firstly, climate change and environmental
degradation are so obvious that even the most
careless people can no longer dismiss them. One can
continue to engage in scientific debates about
the mechanisms behind the ongoing processes, but it
is impossible to deny that these processes are
getting worse, and something needs to be done.
Natural disasters such as droughts, floods,
hurricanes, and tsunamis have almost become the new
normal, and we are getting used to them. Suffice it
to recall the devastating, tragic floods in Europe
last summer, the fires in Siberia – there are a lot
of examples. Not only in Siberia – our neighbours
in Turkey have also had wildfires, and the United
States, and other places on the American continent.
It sometimes seems that any geopolitical, scientific
and technical, or ideological rivalry becomes
pointless in this context, if the winners will have
not enough air to breathe or nothing to drink.
The coronavirus pandemic has become another
reminder of how fragile our community is, how
vulnerable it is, and our most important task is
to ensure humanity a safe existence and resilience.
To increase our chance of survival in the face
of cataclysms, we absolutely need to rethink how we
go about our lives, how we run our households, how
cities develop or how they should develop; we need
to reconsider economic development priorities
of entire states. I repeat, safety is one of our
main imperatives, in any case it has become obvious
now, and anyone who tries to deny this will have
to later explain why they were wrong and why they
were unprepared for the crises and shocks whole
nations are facing.
Second. The socioeconomic problems facing
humankind have worsened to the point where,
in the past, they would trigger worldwide shocks,
such as world wars or bloody social cataclysms.
Everyone is saying that the current model
of capitalism which underlies the social structure
in the overwhelming majority of countries, has run
its course and no longer offers a solution to a host
of increasingly tangled differences.
Everywhere, even in the richest countries
and regions, the uneven distribution of material
wealth has exacerbated inequality, primarily,
inequality of opportunities both within individual
societies and at the international level.
I mentioned this formidable challenge in my remarks
at the Davos Forum earlier this year. No doubt,
these problems threaten us with major and deep
Furthermore, a number of countries and even
entire regions are regularly hit by food crises. We
will probably discuss this later, but there is every
reason to believe that this crisis will become worse
in the near future and may reach extreme forms.
There are also shortages of water and electricity
(we will probably cover this today as well), not
to mention poverty, high unemployment rates or lack
of adequate healthcare.
Lagging countries are fully aware of that
and are losing faith in the prospects of ever
catching up with the leaders. Disappointment spurs
aggression and pushes people to join the ranks
of extremists. People in these countries have
a growing sense of unfulfilled and failed
expectations and the lack of any opportunities not
only for themselves, but for their children,
as well. This is what makes them look for better
lives and results in uncontrolled migration, which,
in turn, creates fertile ground for social
discontent in more prosperous countries. I do not
need to explain anything to you, since you can see
everything with your own eyes and are, probably,
versed on these matters even better than I.
As I noted earlier, prosperous leading powers
have other pressing social problems, challenges
and risks in ample supply, and many among them are
no longer interested in fighting for influence
since, as they say, they already have enough
on their plates. The fact that society and young
people in many countries have overreacted in a harsh
and even aggressive manner to measures to combat
the coronavirus showed – and I want to emphasise
this, I hope someone has already mentioned this
before me at other venues – so, I think that this
reaction showed that the pandemic was just
a pretext: the causes for social irritation
and frustration run much deeper.
I have another important point to make.
The pandemic, which, in theory, was supposed
to rally the people in the fight against this
massive common threat, has instead become a divisive
rather than a unifying factor. There are many
reasons for that, but one of the main ones is that
they started looking for solutions to problems among
the usual approaches – a variety of them, but still
the old ones, but they just do not work. Or, to be
more precise, they do work, but often and oddly
enough, they worsen the existing state of affairs.
By the way, Russia has repeatedly called for,
and I will repeat this, stopping these inappropriate
ambitions and for working together. We will probably
talk about this later but it is clear what I have
in mind. We are talking about the need to counter
the coronavirus infection together. But nothing
changes; everything remains the same despite
the humanitarian considerations. I am not referring
to Russia now, let’s leave the sanctions against
Russia for now; I mean the sanctions that remain
in place against those states that badly need
international assistance. Where are the humanitarian
fundamentals of Western political thought? It
appears there is nothing there, just idle talk. Do
you understand? This is what seems to be
on the surface.
Furthermore, the technological revolution,
impressive achievements in artificial intelligence,
electronics, communications, genetics,
bioengineering, and medicine open up enormous
opportunities, but at the same time, in practical
terms, they raise philosophical, moral and spiritual
questions that were until recently the exclusive
domain of science fiction writers. What will happen
if machines surpass humans in the ability to think?
Where is the limit of interference in the human body
beyond which a person ceases being himself and turns
into some other entity? What are the general ethical
limits in the world where the potential of science
and machines are becoming almost boundless? What
will this mean for each of us, for our descendants,
our nearest descendants – our children
These changes are gaining momentum, and they
certainly cannot be stopped because they are
objective as a rule. All of us will have to deal
with the consequences regardless of our political
systems, economic condition or prevailing ideology.
Verbally, all states talk about their
commitment to the ideals of cooperation
and a willingness to work together for resolving
common problems but, unfortunately, these are just
words. In reality, the opposite is happening,
and the pandemic has served to fuel the negative
trends that emerged long ago and are now only
getting worse. The approach based on the proverb,
“your own shirt is closer to the body,” has finally
become common and is now no longer even concealed.
Moreover, this is often even a matter of boasting
and brandishing. Egotistic interests prevail over
the notion of the common good.
Of course, the problem is not just the ill
will of certain states and notorious elites. It is
more complicated than that, in my opinion.
In general, life is seldom divided into black
and white. Every government, every leader is
primarily responsible to his own compatriots,
obviously. The main goal is to ensure their
security, peace and prosperity. So, international,
transnational issues will never be as important
for a national leadership as domestic stability.
In general, this is normal and correct.
We need to face the fact the global
governance institutions are not always effective
and their capabilities are not always up
to the challenge posed by the dynamics of global
processes. In this sense, the pandemic could help –
it clearly showed which institutions have what it
takes and which need fine-tuning.
The re-alignment of the balance of power
presupposes a redistribution of shares in favour
of rising and developing countries that until now
felt left out. To put it bluntly, the Western
domination of international affairs, which began
several centuries ago and, for a short period, was
almost absolute in the late 20th century,
is giving way to a much more diverse system.
This transformation is not a mechanical
process and, in its own way, one might even say, is
unparalleled. Arguably, political history has no
examples of a stable world order being established
without a big war and its outcomes as the basis,
as was the case after World War II. So, we have
a chance to create an extremely favourable
precedent. The attempt to create it after the end
of the Cold War on the basis of Western domination
failed, as we see. The current state
of international affairs is a product of that very
failure, and we must learn from this.
Some may wonder, what have we arrived at? We
have arrived somewhere paradoxical. Just an example:
for two decades, the most powerful nation
in the world has been conducting military campaigns
in two countries that it cannot be compared
to by any standard. But in the end, it had to wind
down operations without achieving a single goal that
it had set for itself going in 20 years ago,
and to withdraw from these countries causing
considerable damage to others and itself. In fact,
the situation has worsened dramatically.
But that is not the point. Previously, a war
lost by one side meant victory for the other side,
which took responsibility for what was happening.
For example, the defeat of the United States
in the Vietnam War, for example, did not make
Vietnam a “black hole.” On the contrary,
a successfully developing state arose there, which,
admittedly, relied on the support of a strong ally.
Things are different now: no matter who takes
the upper hand, the war does not stop, but just
changes form. As a rule, the hypothetical winner is
reluctant or unable to ensure peaceful post-war
recovery, and only worsens the chaos and the vacuum
posing a danger to the world.
What do you think are the starting points
of this complex realignment process? Let me try
to summarise the talking points.
First, the coronavirus pandemic has clearly
shown that the international order is structured
around nation states. By the way, recent
developments have shown that global digital
platforms – with all their might, which we could see
from the internal political processes in the United
States – have failed to usurp political or state
functions. These attempts proved ephemeral. The US
authorities, as I said, have immediately put
the owners of these platforms in their place, which
is exactly what is being done in Europe, if you just
look at the size of the fines imposed on them
and the demonopolisation measures being taken. You
are aware of that.
In recent decades, many have tossed around
fancy concepts claiming that the role of the state
was outdated and outgoing. Globalisation supposedly
made national borders an anachronism,
and sovereignty an obstacle to prosperity. You know,
I said it before and I will say it again. This is
also what was said by those who attempted to open up
other countries’ borders for the benefit of their
own competitive advantages. This is what actually
happened. And as soon as it transpired that someone
somewhere is achieving great results, they
immediately returned to closing borders in general
and, first of all, their own customs borders
and what have you, and started building walls. Well,
were we supposed to not notice, or what? Everyone
sees everything and everyone understands everything
perfectly well. Of course, they do.
There is no point in disputing it anymore. It
is obvious. But events, when we spoke about the need
to open up borders, events, as I said, went
in the opposite direction. Only sovereign states can
effectively respond to the challenges of the times
and the demands of the citizens. Accordingly, any
effective international order should take into
account the interests and capabilities of the state
and proceed on that basis, and not try to prove that
they should not exist. Furthermore, it is impossible
to impose anything on anyone, be it the principles
underlying the sociopolitical structure or values
that someone, for their own reasons, has called
universal. After all, it is clear that when a real
crisis strikes, there is only one universal value
left and that is human life, which each state
decides for itself how best to protect based on its
abilities, culture and traditions.
In this regard, I will again note how severe
and dangerous the coronavirus pandemic has become.
As we know, more than 4.9 million have died of it.
These terrifying figures are comparable and even
exceed the military losses of the main participants
in World War I.
The second point I would like to draw your
attention to is the scale of change that forces us
to act extremely cautiously, if only for reasons
of self-preservation. The state and society must not
respond radically to qualitative shifts
in technology, dramatic environmental changes
or the destruction of traditional systems. It is
easier to destroy than to create, as we all know. We
in Russia know this very well, regrettably, from our
own experience, which we have had several times.
Just over a century ago, Russia objectively
faced serious problems, including because
of the ongoing World War I, but its problems were
not bigger and possibly even smaller or not as acute
as the problems the other countries faced,
and Russia could have dealt with its problems
gradually and in a civilised manner. But
revolutionary shocks led to the collapse
and disintegration of a great power. The second time
this happened 30 years ago, when a potentially very
powerful nation failed to enter the path of urgently
needed, flexible but thoroughly substantiated
reforms at the right time, and as a result it fell
victim to all kinds of dogmatists, both reactionary
ones and the so-called progressives – all of them
did their bit, all sides did.
These examples from our history allow us
to say that revolutions are not a way to settle
a crisis but a way to aggravate it. No revolution
was worth the damage it did to the human potential.
Third. The importance of a solid support
in the sphere of morals, ethics and values is
increasing dramatically in the modern fragile world.
In point of fact, values are a product, a unique
product of cultural and historical development
of any nation. The mutual interlacing of nations
definitely enriches them, openness expands their
horizons and allows them to take a fresh look
at their own traditions. But the process must be
organic, and it can never be rapid. Any alien
elements will be rejected anyway, possibly bluntly.
Any attempts to force one’s values on others with
an uncertain and unpredictable outcome can only
further complicate a dramatic situation and usually
produce the opposite reaction and an opposite from
the intended result.
We look in amazement at the processes
underway in the countries which have been
traditionally looked at as the standard-bearers
of progress. Of course, the social and cultural
shocks that are taking place in the United States
and Western Europe are none of our business; we are
keeping out of this. Some people in the West believe
that an aggressive elimination of entire pages from
their own history, “reverse discrimination” against
the majority in the interests of a minority,
and the demand to give up the traditional notions
of mother, father, family and even gender, they
believe that all of these are the mileposts
on the path towards social renewal.
Listen, I would like to point out once again
that they have a right to do this, we are keeping
out of this. But we would like to ask them to keep
out of our business as well. We have a different
viewpoint, at least the overwhelming majority
of Russian society – it would be more correct to put
it this way – has a different opinion on this
matter. We believe that we must rely on our own
spiritual values, our historical tradition
and the culture of our multiethnic nation.
The advocates of so-called ‘social progress’
believe they are introducing humanity to some kind
of a new and better consciousness. Godspeed, hoist
the flags as we say, go right ahead. The only thing
that I want to say now is that their prescriptions
are not new at all. It may come as a surprise
to some people, but Russia has been there already.
After the 1917 revolution, the Bolsheviks, relying
on the dogmas of Marx and Engels, also said that
they would change existing ways and customs and not
just political and economic ones, but the very
notion of human morality and the foundations
of a healthy society. The destruction of age-old
values, religion and relations between people, up
to and including the total rejection of family (we
had that, too), encouragement to inform on loved
ones – all this was proclaimed progress and,
by the way, was widely supported around the world
back then and was quite fashionable, same as today.
By the way, the Bolsheviks were absolutely
intolerant of opinions other than theirs.
This, I believe, should call to mind some
of what we are witnessing now. Looking at what is
happening in a number of Western countries, we are
amazed to see the domestic practices, which we,
fortunately, have left, I hope, in the distant past.
The fight for equality and against discrimination
has turned into aggressive dogmatism bordering
on absurdity, when the works of the great authors
of the past – such as Shakespeare – are no longer
taught at schools or universities, because their
ideas are believed to be backward. The classics are
declared backward and ignorant of the importance
of gender or race. In Hollywood memos are
distributed about proper storytelling and how many
characters of what colour or gender should be
in a movie. This is even worse than the agitprop
department of the Central Committee of the Communist
Party of the Soviet Union.
Countering acts of racism is a necessary
and noble cause, but the new ‘cancel culture’ has
turned it into ‘reverse discrimination’ that is,
reverse racism. The obsessive emphasis on race is
further dividing people, when the real fighters
for civil rights dreamed precisely about erasing
differences and refusing to divide people by skin
colour. I specifically asked my colleagues to find
the following quote from Martin Luther King: “I have
a dream that my four little children will one day
live in a nation where they will not be judged
by the colour of their skin but by their character.”
This is the true value. However, things are turning
out differently there. By the way, the absolute
majority of Russian people do not think that
the colour of a person's skin or their gender is
an important matter. Each of us is a human being.
This is what matters.
In a number of Western countries, the debate
over men’s and women’s rights has turned into
a perfect phantasmagoria. Look, beware of going
where the Bolsheviks once planned to go – not only
communalising chickens, but also communalising
women. One more step and you will be there.
Zealots of these new approaches even go so
far as to want to abolish these concepts altogether.
Anyone who dares mention that men and women actually
exist, which is a biological fact, risk being
ostracised. “Parent number one” and “parent number
two,” “'birthing parent” instead of “mother,”
and “human milk” replacing “breastmilk” because it
might upset the people who are unsure about their
own gender. I repeat, this is nothing new;
in the 1920s, the so-called Soviet Kulturtraegers
also invented some newspeak believing they were
creating a new consciousness and changing values
that way. And, as I have already said, they made
such a mess it still makes one shudder at times.
Not to mention some truly monstrous things
when children are taught from an early age that
a boy can easily become a girl and vice versa. That
is, the teachers actually impose on them a choice we
all supposedly have. They do so while shutting
the parents out of the process and forcing the child
to make decisions that can upend their entire life.
They do not even bother to consult with child
psychologists – is a child at this age even capable
of making a decision of this kind? Calling a spade
a spade, this verges on a crime against humanity,
and it is being done in the name and under
the banner of progress.
Well, if someone likes this, let them do it.
I have already mentioned that, in shaping our
approaches, we will be guided by a healthy
conservatism. That was a few years ago, when
passions on the international arena were not yet
running as high as they are now, although,
of course, we can say that clouds were gathering
even then. Now, when the world is going through
a structural disruption, the importance
of reasonable conservatism as the foundation
for a political course has skyrocketed – precisely
because of the multiplying risks and dangers,
and the fragility of the reality around us.
This conservative approach is not about
an ignorant traditionalism, a fear of change
or a restraining game, much less about withdrawing
into our own shell. It is primarily about reliance
on a time-tested tradition, the preservation
and growth of the population, a realistic assessment
of oneself and others, a precise alignment
of priorities, a correlation of necessity
and possibility, a prudent formulation of goals,
and a fundamental rejection of extremism
as a method. And frankly, in the impending period
of global reconstruction, which may take quite long,
with its final design being uncertain, moderate
conservatism is the most reasonable line of conduct,
as far as I see it. It will inevitably change
at some point, but so far, do no harm – the guiding
principle in medicine – seems to be the most
rational one. Noli nocere, as they say.
Again, for us in Russia, these are not some
speculative postulates, but lessons from our
difficult and sometimes tragic history. The cost
of ill-conceived social experiments is sometimes
beyond estimation. Such actions can destroy not only
the material, but also the spiritual foundations
of human existence, leaving behind moral wreckage
where nothing can be built to replace it for a long
Finally, there is one more point I want
to make. We understand all too well that resolving
many urgent problems the world has been facing would
be impossible without close international
cooperation. However, we need to be realistic: most
of the pretty slogans about coming up with global
solutions to global problems that we have been
hearing since the late 20th century will
never become reality. In order to achieve a global
solution, states and people have to transfer their
sovereign rights to supra-national structures
to an extent that few, if any, would accept. This is
primarily attributable to the fact that you have
to answer for the outcomes of such policies not
to some global public, but to your citizens
However, this does not mean that exercising
some restraint for the sake of bringing about
solutions to global challenges is impossible. After
all, a global challenge is a challenge for all of us
together, and to each of us in particular. If
everyone saw a way to benefit from cooperation
in overcoming these challenges, this would
definitely leave us better equipped to work
One of the ways to promote these efforts
could be, for example, to draw up, at the UN level,
a list of challenges and threats that specific
countries face, with details of how they could
affect other countries. This effort could involve
experts from various countries and academic fields,
including you, my colleagues. We believe that
developing a roadmap of this kind could inspire many
countries to see global issues in a new light
and understand how cooperation could be beneficial
I have already mentioned the challenges
international institutions are facing.
Unfortunately, this is an obvious fact: it is now
a question of reforming or closing some of them.
However, the United Nations as the central
international institution retains its enduring
value, at least for now. I believe that in our
turbulent world it is the UN that brings a touch
of reasonable conservatism into international
relations, something that is so important
for normalising the situation.
Many criticise the UN for failing to adapt
to a rapidly changing world. In part, this is true,
but it is not the UN, but primarily its members who
are to blame for this. In addition, this
international body promotes not only international
norms, but also the rule-making spirit, which is
based on the principles of equality and maximum
consideration for everyone’s opinions. Our mission
is to preserve this heritage while reforming
the organisation. However, in doing so we need
to make sure that we do not throw the baby out with
the bathwater, as the saying goes.
This is not the first time I am using a high
rostrum to make this call for collective action
in order to face up to the problems that continue
to pile up and become more acute. It is thanks
to you, friends and colleagues, that the Valdai Club
is emerging or has already established itself
as a high-profile forum. It is for this reason that
I am turning to this platform to reaffirm our
readiness to work together on addressing the most
urgent problems that the world is facing today.
The changes mentioned here prior to me,
as well as by yours truly, are relevant to all
countries and peoples. Russia, of course, is not
an exception. Just like everyone else, we are
searching for answers to the most urgent challenges
of our time.
Of course, no one has any ready-made recipes.
However, I would venture to say that our country has
an advantage. Let me explain what this advantage is.
It is to do with our historical experience. You may
have noticed that I have referred to it several
times in the course of my remarks. Unfortunately, we
had to bring back many sad memories, but at least
our society has developed what they now refer
to as herd immunity to extremism that paves the way
to upheavals and socioeconomic cataclysms. People
really value stability and being able to live normal
lives and to prosper while confident that
the irresponsible aspirations of yet another group
of revolutionaries will not upend their plans
and aspirations. Many have vivid memories of what
happened 30 years ago and all the pain it took
to climb out of the ditch where our country and our
society found themselves after the USSR fell apart.
The conservative views we hold are
an optimistic conservatism, which is what matters
the most. We believe stable, positive development
to be possible. It all depends primarily on our own
efforts. Of course, we are ready to work with our
partners on common noble causes.
I would like to thank all participants once
more, for your attention. As the tradition goes,
I will gladly answer or at least try to answer your
Thank you for your patience.
Moderator of the 18th annual
meeting of the Valdai International
Discussion Club closing session Fyodor Lukyanov:
Thank you very much, Mr President, for your detailed
remarks covering not only and not so much
the current political problems, but fundamental
issues. Following up on what you said, I cannot fail
to ask you about the historical experience,
traditions, conservatism and healthy conservatism
that you have mentioned on several occasions in your
Does unhealthy conservatism frighten you?
Where does the boundary separating the healthy from
the unhealthy lie? At what point does a tradition
turn from something that binds society together into
Vladimir Putin: Anything can become
a burden, if you are not careful. When I speak about
healthy conservatism, Nikolai Berdyayev always
springs to mind, and I have already mentioned him
several times. He was a remarkable Russian
philosopher, and as you all know he was expelled
from the Soviet Union in 1922. He was
as forward-thinking as a man can be, but also sided
with conservatism. He used to say, and you will
excuse me if I do not quote his exact words:
“Conservatism is not something preventing upward,
forward movement, but something preventing you from
sliding back into chaos.” If we treat conservatism
this way, it provides an effective foundation
for further progress.
Fyodor Lukyanov: Speaking of traditions,
you also tend to mention traditional values quite
frequently, and this is a hot topic in our society.
In particular, you have proposed relying
on traditional values as a foundation for bringing
the world together. However, traditions are destined
to be unique for every nation. How can everyone come
together around the same traditional values, if they
have their own traditions?
Vladimir Putin: Do you know what
the trick is? The trick is that of course there is
a lot of diversity and every nation around the world
is different. Still, something unites all people.
After all, we are all people, and we all want
to live. Life is of absolute value.
In my opinion, the same applies to family
as a value, because what can be more important than
procreation? Do we want to be or not to be? If we do
not want to be, fine. You see, adoption is also
a good and important thing, but to adopt a child
someone has to give birth to that child. This is
the second universal value that cannot be contested.
I do not think that I need to list them all.
You are all smart people here, and everyone
understands this, including you. Yes, we do need
to work together based on these shared, universal
Fyodor Lukyanov: You made a powerful
statement when you said that the current model
of capitalism has run its course and no longer
offers a solution to international issues. One hears
this a lot these days, but you are referring to our
country’s unfortunate experience in the 20th
century when we were actually rejecting capitalism,
but this did not work out for us either. Does this
mean that this is where we want to return? Where are
we headed with this dysfunctional capitalist model?
Vladimir Putin: I also said that there
were no ready-made recipes. It is true that what we
are currently witnessing, for example on the energy
markets, as we will probably discuss later,
demonstrates that this kind of capitalism does not
work. All they do is talk about the “invisible hand”
of the market, only to get $1,500 or $2,000 per
1,000 cubic metres. Is this market-based approach
to regulation any good?
When everything goes well and there is
stability, economic actors around the world demand
more freedom for themselves and a smaller role
for the state in the economy. However, when
challenges arise, especially at a global scale, they
want the government to interfere.
I remember 2008 and 2009 and the global
financial crisis very well. I was Prime Minister
at the time, and spoke to many Russian business
leaders, who were viewed as successful up to that
point, and everything is fine with them now,
by the way. They came to me and were ready to give
up their companies that were worth tens of millions,
if not hundreds of millions of dollars, for a ruble.
Why? They had to assume responsibility for their
workforce and for the future of these companies. It
was easier for them just to keep what they earned
and shift their responsibility to others.
At the time, we agreed that the state would
lend them its shoulder: they kept their businesses,
while the state paid off their margin loans
and assumed responsibility, to a certain extent.
Together with the businesses, we found a solution.
As a result, we saved Russia’s largest private
companies, and enabled the state to make a profit
afterwards. We actually made money because when
the companies were back on their feet, they paid
back what they owed the state. The state made quite
In this regard, we do need to work together
and explore each other’s experience. Other countries
also had positive experiences in making the state
and the market work in tune with each other.
The People’s Republic of China is a case in point.
While the Communist Party retains its leading role
there, the country has a viable market and its
institutions are quite effective. This is an obvious
For this reason, there are no ready-made
recipes. Wild capitalism does not work either,
as I have already said, and I am ready to repeat
this, as I have just demonstrated using these
In a way, this is like art. You need
to understand when to place a bigger emphasis
on something: when to add more salt, and when to use
more sugar. You see? While being guided
by the general principles as articulated
by international financial institutions such
as the IMF, the OECD, etc., we need to understand
where we are. To act, we need to understand how our
capabilities compare with the plans we have.
By the way, here in Russia we have been quite
effective over the past years, including
in overcoming the consequences of the epidemic.
Other countries also performed quite well, as we can
Fyodor Lukyanov: Do you mean that we are
moving not only towards an optimistic conservatism
but also towards an optimistic capitalism?
Vladimir Putin: You see, we need to build
a social welfare state. Truth be said, Europe,
especially the Nordic countries, have been
advocating a social welfare state for a long time.
This is essential for us, considering the income gap
between various social groups, even if this problem
exists in all the leading economies of the world.
Just look at the United States and Europe, although
the income gap is smaller in Europe compared
to the United States.
As I have said on multiple occasions, only
a small group of people who were already rich
to begin with benefited from the preferences that
became available over the past years. Their wealth
increased exponentially compared to the middle class
and the poor. This problem clearly exists there,
even if it is not as pressing in Europe, but it
Fyodor Lukyanov: Thank you.
I will ask the last question so that we do
not keep the audience waiting. You mentioned
the UN’s invaluable role. We can understand this,
since the UN is a fundamental institution, and so
on. However, many now criticise the UN, and you have
mentioned this in your remarks.
Just a few days ago, President of Turkey
Erdogan, whom you know well, said that the Security
Council must be reformed because a group of WWII
victor countries monopolised power, which is not
the way it should be. Do you agree with this
Vladimir Putin: I do not. He has recently
visited Russia, as you know, and I had a meeting
with him. I raised this question myself, saying that
I saw his main points. I have to admit that I did
not read the entire book, but I did look at some
of the ideas. I agree with some of them. This is
a good analysis. We can understand why a Turkish
leader raises this issue. He probably believes that
Turkey could become a permanent Security Council
member. It is not up to Russia to decide, though.
Matters of this kind must be decided by consensus.
There are also India and South Africa. You see, this
is a question of fairness, of striking a balance.
Different solutions are possible here.
I would rather not talk about this now, getting
ahead of things and preempting Russia's position
on this discussion. But what is important (I just
said so in my opening remarks, and I also said this
to President Erdogan), if we dismantle the permanent
members’ veto, the United Nations will die
on the same day, will degrade into the League
of Nations, and that will be it. It will be just
a platform for discussion, Valdai Club number two.
But there is only one Valdai Club, and it is here. (Laughter.)
Fyodor Lukyanov: We are ready to step in.
Vladimir Putin: Valdai Club number two
will be in New York.
Fyodor Lukyanov: We will go and replace
it with pleasure.
Vladimir Putin: But this is the point –
we would rather not change anything. That is, some
change might be necessary, but we would rather not
destroy the basis – this is the whole point
of the UN today, that there are five permanent
members, and they have the power of veto. Other
states are represented on the Security Council, but
they are non-permanent members.
We need to think how we could make this
organisation more balanced, because indeed – this is
true, and in this sense, President Erdogan is
right – it emerged after World War II, when there
was a certain balance of power. Now it is changing;
it has already changed.
We are well aware that China has overtaken
the United States in purchasing power parity. What
do you think that is? These are global changes.
And India? Another nation of almost 1.5
billion people, a rapidly developing economy, and so
on. And why is Africa not represented? Where is
Latin America? We definitely need to consider this –
a growing giant there such as Brazil. These are all
topics for discussion. Only, we must not rush. We
must not make any mistakes on the path of reform.
Fyodor Lukyanov: The leaders
of the Valdai Club will consider holding a meeting
in New York. Only, they might not issue visas to all
of us, I am afraid, but no problem, we will work
Vladimir Putin: By the way, why not?
The Valdai Club might as well meet in New York.
Fyodor Lukyanov: After you and Biden
agree on the visas. (Laughter.)
Vladimir Putin: I do not think the heads
of state will need to step in. Just ask Sergei
Lavrov, he will speak with his colleagues there.
Why not? I am serious. Why not hold a Valdai
Club session on a neutral site, outside the Russian
Federation? Why not? I think it might be
We have important people here in this room,
good analysts who are well known in their countries.
More people can be invited in the host country
to join these discussions. What is wrong with that?
This is good.
Fyodor Lukyanov: Well, we have just set
Vladimir Putin: It is not a goal; it is
Fyodor Lukyanov: A possibility. Like
a crisis. It is also a possibility.
Vladimir Putin: Yes.
Fyodor Lukyanov: Please, Piotr
Piotr Dutkiewicz: Mr President, I would
like to return to the words you have just said, that
Russia should rely on Russian values. By the way, we
were talking about this at a Valdai Club meeting
the day before yesterday.
I would like to ask you which Russian
thinkers, scholars, anthropologists and writers do
you regard as your closest soul-mates, helping you
to define for yourself the values that will later
become those of all Russians?
Vladimir Putin: You know, I would prefer
not to say that this is Ivan Ilyin alone. I read
Ilyin, I read him to this day. I have his book lying
on my shelf, and I pick it up and read it from time
to time. I have mentioned Berdiayev, there are other
Russian thinkers. All of them are people who were
thinking about Russia and its future. I am
fascinated by the train of their thought, but,
of course, I make allowances for the time when they
were working, writing and formulating their ideas.
The well-known idea about the passionarity
of nations is a very interesting idea. It could be
challenged – arguments around it continue to this
day. But if there are debates over the ideas they
formulated, these are obviously not idle ideas
to say the least.
Let me remind you about nations’
passionarity. According to the author of this idea,
peoples, nations, ethnic groups are like a living
organism: they are born, reach the peak of their
development, and then quietly grow old. Many
countries, including those on the American
continent, say today’s Western Europe is ageing.
This is the term they use. It is hard to say whether
this is right or not. But, to my mind, the idea that
a nation should have an inner driving mechanism
for development, a will for development
and self-assertion has a leg to stand on.
We are observing that certain countries are
on the rise even though they have a lot of unsolved
problems. They resemble erupting volcanoes, like
the one on the Spanish island, which is disgorging
its lava. But there are also extinguished volcanoes,
where fires are long dead and one can only hear
Piotr Dutkiewicz: Mr President, you have
referred to Lev Gumilyov, who presented me with
a samizdat edition of his first book in St
Petersburg in 1979. I will pass this samizdat
on to you.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you very much.
Fyodor Lukyanov: Samizdat, a tradition.
Dear friends, please introduce yourselves,
when you take the floor.
Alexei Miller: Good afternoon, Mr
I am Alexei Miller, a historian from
the European University at St Petersburg.
Vladimir Putin: There are two Alexei
Millers. Russia is a rich country. (Laughter)
Alexei Miller: Two years ago, you were
asked during a meeting at the Valdai Club about
the European Parliament’s resolution, which made
the Soviet Union (and hence Russia) and Nazi Germany
equally responsible for the outbreak of WWII. Since
then, you have commented on this issue several times
in your statements and in the article published
in the summer of 2020.
In particular, during the ceremony to unveil
a monument to the victims of the siege of Leningrad
at the Yad Vashem memorial complex in January 2020,
you said you would like to propose a meeting
of the Big Five leaders to discuss this issue
as well, so that we could overcome the current
confrontation and end the war on memory. I believe
the situation has not improved since then. Or maybe
you know something the general public is not aware
of, maybe there have been some improvements? It
would be great if you could tell us about this.
My second question follows on from the first
one. When there is such confrontation
in the countries that are involved in the war
on memory, some forces may be tempted to join ranks
and to restrict, to a greater or lesser degree,
the freedom of discussion, including among
historians. Such discussions always involve
a difference of opinions and some risqué or even
wrong views. Do you envision the threat of such
restrictions in our country?
Vladimir Putin: No, I do not believe
there is such a threat in our country. We sometimes
see the danger of not being responsible for what
some people say, indeed, but then this is
the reverse side of the freedom you have mentioned.
As for my initiative to hold a meeting
of the heads of the five permanent members of the UN
Security Council, it has been supported by everyone,
in principle, and such a meeting could have been
organised. The problems that arose are not connected
with Russia but with some disputes within this group
of five countries. As I have said, they are not
connected with Russia. This is the first point.
And the second is that the pandemic began
soon after that, and the situation has become really
The idea of the meeting received a highly
positive response, and I hope it will be held
eventually. This definitely will be beneficial. We
are discussing this with our American partners, with
our Chinese friends, with France – incidentally,
the French President supported it immediately,
as well as with Britain. They have their own ideas
and proposals on additional subjects that can be
discussed at such a meeting. I hope the necessary
conditions will develop and we will hold this
As for historical memory, the memory of WWII,
you know, of course, that I am ready to talk about
this with arguments in hand. We have many complaints
about the country’s leadership between 1917
and 1990, which is obvious. However, placing
the Nazis and the Communists before WWII on the same
level and dividing responsibility between them
equally is absolutely unacceptable. It is a lie.
I am saying this not only because I am
Russian and, currently, the head of the Russian
state, which is the legal successor of the Soviet
Union. I am saying this now, in part or at least
in part, as a researcher. I have read the documents,
which I retrieved from the archives. We are
publishing them now in increasingly large amounts.
Trust me, when I read them, the picture
in my mind started changing. You can think about
Stalin differently, blaming him for the prison
camps, persecution campaigns and the like. But
I have seen his instructions on documents.
The Soviet government was genuinely doing its best
to prevent WWII, even if for different reasons. Some
people would say that the country was not ready
for the war, which is why they tried to prevent it.
But they did try to prevent it. They fought
for the preservation of Czechoslovakia, providing
arguments to protect its sovereignty. I have read,
I have really read – this is not a secret, and we
are declassifying these archives now – about
France’s reaction to those events, including
regarding the meeting of the leading politicians
with Hitler in Munich in 1938.
When you read this, when you see it, you
understand that attempts can indeed be made
to distort these facts. But you can at least read
these documents. I can understand the current Polish
leadership’s attitude to the 1939 events, but when
you tell them: Just take a look at what happened
slightly before that, when Poland joined Germany
in the division of Czechoslovakia. You lit the fuse,
you pulled the cork, the genie came out, and you
cannot put it back into the bottle.”
I also read the archival documents which we
received after the Red Army entered Europe: we have
German and also Polish and French documents, we have
them. They directly discussed the division
of Czechoslovakia and the time for the invasion.
And then to blame it on the Soviet Union? This
simply does not correspond to reality and facts.
Simply put, who attacked who? Did the Soviet
Union attack Germany? No, it did not. Yes, there
were secret agreements between Germany
and the Soviet Union. Incidentally, I would like
to note that the Soviet troops entered Brest when
the German troops had been already deployed there;
the Germans simply moved back a little and the Red
Army moved in. Do you see?
There is no point adding a political
dimension here. Let us act calmly at the expert
level, read the documents and sort things out.
Nobody is accusing the Polish leadership. But we
will not allow anyone to accuse Russia or the Soviet
Union of what they did not do.
And lastly, I would like to say that there
are some perfectly obvious things. Firstly, it was
Germany that attacked the Soviet Union on June 22,
1941, and not vice versa, and secondly, let us not
forget who stormed Berlin. Was it the Americans,
the British or the French? No, it was the Red Army.
Have you forgotten this? It is easy to recall,
for it is an obvious fact.
As many as 1.1 million of our people died
in the Battle of Stalingrad alone. How many
casualties can Britain claim? 400,000.
And the United States, less that 500,000. A total
of 75 percent, and probably even 80 percent
of the German military potential was destroyed
by the Soviet army. Are you a little rusty on this?
No, you are not rusty at all. These events
are being used to deal with the current internal
political matters in an opportunistic manner. This
is wrong, because nothing good will come
of manipulating history. At the very least, this
does not promote mutual understanding, which we need
so badly now.
Fyodor Lukyanov: Orietta Moscatelli, go
Orietta Moscatelli: Orietta Moscatelli,
Italy. Thank you for the meeting.
As you mentioned, different things have been
said about Homo sovieticus over the 30 years since
the Soviet Union’s disintegration. Was there really
a person like that? Here is my question: Do you
think it was true? Do you believe Russia has fully
overcome Soviet experience as a society? What are
the main features of the Soviet times that you have
kept in your life?
Vladimir Putin: I, as well as many people
of my generation certainly remember this idea
and this formula – a new community, Soviet people,
the Soviet person. Of course, all of us remember
this. In reality, this definition is not at all bad.
This is my first point.
The second point. Look, the whole world
and the United States describe the US as a “melting
pot,” in which people of different nations,
ethnicities and religions are melting together. What
is bad about this? They are all proud – the Irish,
people of European and East European origin, you
name it, as well as Latin Americans and Africans
by their initial descent – many of them are proud
to be US citizens and this is wonderful. This is
what “the melting pot” is about.
Russia is also “a melting pot.” Since
the formation of a united Russian state – the first
steps were made, probably in the 8th-9th
centuries, and also after Conversion of Rus’,
the Russian nation and a centralised Russian state
began to take shape with a common market, common
language, the power of a prince and common spiritual
values. The Russian state began to be established
and later expanded. This was also a “melting pot.”
Nothing particularly new was created
in the Soviet Union except one very important
circumstance: this new community, the Soviet person,
the Soviet people acquired an ideological tinge.
Of course, there was nothing good about this because
this narrows the horizons of the possible. This is
the first point.
The second point. Positive features
of the Soviet times reflected on the Soviet people.
What were they? Patriotism inherent in our peoples,
supremacy of the spiritual dimension over material
things, all these values I mentioned, including
family ones. But negative things in the life
and destiny of the Soviet Union also stuck
to the Soviet people. Thus, they were deprived
of property as such. Private property was embodied
in a household plot, but this is quite a different
category. Hence, their attitude to labour,
the one-size-fits-all approach and so on.
The Soviet Union had many problems. They
triggered the events that led to the collapse
of the USSR. However, it is wrong, crude
and inappropriate to paint everything black. Yes,
I know we have people that paint everything black.
Hence, they deserve to be put into something that
There are both pluses and minuses,
as for “the melting pot,” I think it was good
to have it because it enriches the people, enriches
You know, what is typical of Russia,
something you can find in all historical documents:
when expanding its territory Russia never made life
difficult for the people who became part
of the united Russian state. This applied
to religion, traditions and history. Look
at the decrees of Catherine the Great who issued her
instruction in clear terms: treat with respect. This
was the attitude towards those who preached Islam,
for instance. This has always been the case. This is
a tradition. In terms of preserving these
traditions, the new community of the Soviet people
had nothing bad about it except the ideologisation
of this melting pot and the results of its
I think I have described everything linked
with the Soviet period of our history. Now I have
mentioned this again and I do not think it is worth
discussing this topic again.
As for me, like the overwhelming majority
of people of my generation, I faced the problems
of that period, but I also remember its positive
features that should not be forgotten. Being from
a family of workers, yours truly graduated from
Leningrad State University. This is something,
right? At that time, education played the role
of a real social lift. On the whole, the egalitarian
approach was very widespread and we encountered its
negative impact, such as income levelling
and a related attitude to work, but a lot of people
still used the preferences of social lifts
I mentioned. Maybe, it was simply the legacy of past
generations or even cultivated in the Soviet Union
to some extent. This is also important.
I have now recalled my family. My mum and dad
were simple people. They did not talk in slogans but
I remember very well that discussing different
problems at home, in the family, they always,
I would like to emphasise this, treated their
country with respect, speaking about it in their own
manner, in simple terms, in the folk style. This was
not demonstrative patriotism. It was inside our
I think I have the right to say that
the overwhelming majority of the Russian people
and the other peoples of the USSR cultivated these
positive features. It is no accident that over 70
percent of the population voted for preserving
the Soviet Union on the eve of its collapse. Many
people in the union republics that gained
independence regretted what had happened. But now
life is different and we believe it is going its own
way and generally recognise current realities.
As for the Soviet person, the new formation,
as they said then, I believe I have already said
enough on this subject.
Fyodor Lukyanov: This year’s Valdai Club
meeting is special in part because we have a Nobel
Peace Prize laureate here with us for the first time
in our history.
I would like to give the floor to Dmitry
Dmitry Muratov: Thank you. Good
Mr President, Valdai Club guests, Fyodor,
I want to let everyone know that the prize money has
Thanks go to the Circle of Kindness
Foundation. Furthermore, we hope that our modest
contribution will help everyone realise that the Circle
of Kindness Foundation helps young people under
18, but then after they are 18, they are left
without guidance. It is like saying, “Thank you, we
saved you, and now goodbye.” We look forward to the Circle
of Kindness Foundation (they appear ready to do
this) expanding its mandate. There is the children's
hospice Lighthouse, the First Moscow Charity
Hospice Foundation Vera, the Podari Zhizn
Foundation, the Anna Politkovskaya Award,
and the Foundation for Medical Aid for Media
Members. That is all.
Of course, I also think that, to some extent,
probably, this is a prize for our country as well,
although I consider myself an impostor. I will do
my best to make sure it benefits our people.
Now, if I may, a brief remark and a question.
Mr President, I have very carefully studied
the answer you gave during Moscow Energy Week
regarding foreign agents, where you said that we
were not the first to adopt this law, that
the United States did so back in the 1930s.
But, Mr President, since we do not adopt
every law that is adopted in the United States,
my question about foreign agents remains. After all,
I believe this concerns not only dozens and dozens
of journalists and human rights activists who are
listed in the register, but also hundreds
of thousands and even millions of readers.
Therefore, I believe it is a serious matter.
Most importantly, you have just mentioned
Leningrad University and I think your subject
of study will help us understand each other well.
This law does not provide for any court recourse.
You are designated a foreign agent and there is no
argument of the parties, no provision of evidence,
no verdict. It is a stain. Let me remind you of our
favourite childhood book. This is the same kind
of brand Milady in The Three Musketeers had.
But before Milady was beheaded, the executioner
of Lille read the verdict to her at dawn whereas
in our case there is no verdict whatsoever.
Furthermore, it is impossible to get away
from this law. There is not even a warning that you
become a foreign agent starting, say, tomorrow.
For many, this status undoubtedly means they are
an enemy of the Motherland. I remember from my days
of army service that under the guard service
regulations, the sentry first fires a warning shot
in the air. Excuse me, but only security guards
at prison camps shoot to kill without a warning
I believe we need to sort this out, since
the criteria are woefully vague. Take, for example,
receiving organisational and methodological
assistance. What does this mean? If I am asking
a member of the Valdai Club for a comment, and they
come from another country, does that make me
a foreign agent? They make their announcements
on Fridays. I want to remind you that tomorrow is
I would like to ask you to respond to the way
this issue is presented. Perhaps, you, Mr President
and, for example, the State Duma Chairman, could
hold an extraordinary meeting with the editors from
various media in order discuss the issues at hand.
Thank you very much.
Vladimir Putin: First, I would like
to congratulate you on the Nobel Prize. I would like
to draw your attention to one fact: Nikolai
Berdyayev, whom I have mentioned, was expelled
by the Bolsheviks on the well-known Philosophy
Steamer in 1922. Nominated for a Nobel Prize more
than once, he never received this award.
Dmitry Muratov: That was about
Vladimir Putin: No difference, but yes,
I agree. The first Soviet President Mikhail
Gorbachev and Barrack Obama also received Nobel
peace prizes. So, you are in good company.
Congratulations! But we really know. You have just
spoken about a hospice. I would give you a prize
for that because you are doing this good work. It is
truly noble work, the Circle of Kindness,
and the like.
Your concern about foreign agents; I will not
deviate to the right or left. Look, you said that
here when these decisions are made… firstly,
American laws. Do we have to copy everything from
the Americans? No, we do not need to copy
everything. Yet many liberals in Russia still think
we should copy almost everything. But I agree with
you: not everything.
You said this is not decided in court. This
is not done in the United States either. They summon
people to the Department of Justice. Ask Russia
Today about what they are doing. Do you know how
tough they are? Up to and including criminal
liability. We do not have this. This is not about
the position of some public figure, some public
organisation, or a media outlet. Their position does
not matter. This law does not ban anyone from having
one’s own opinion on an issue. It is about receiving
financial aid from abroad during domestic political
activities. That is the point. The law does not even
keep them from continuing these political
activities. The money that comes from abroad, from
over there, should simply be identified as such.
Russian society should know what position someone
comes from or what they think about internal
political processes or something else, but it should
also realise that they receive money from abroad.
This is the right of Russian society. In fact, this
is the whole point of this law. There are no
restrictions in it at all.
So, when you said there is no verdict, that
is right. There is no verdict. There was a verdict
for Milady – her head was cut off. Here nobody is
cutting off anything. So, just continue working like
you did before.
But you are right about one thing. I will not
even argue with you, because this is true.
Of course, we probably need to go over these vague
criteria again and again. I can promise you that we
will take another look at them. I know it happens
occasionally. Even my personal acquaintances who
engage in charitable activities were telling me that
cases were being made against them portraying them
as foreign agents. I am aware of the fact that our
colleagues discuss this at the Human Rights Council.
I keep issuing instructions on that score
to the Presidential Administration and the State
Duma deputies so that they go over it again
and again, improve this tool, and in no way abuse
So, thank you for bringing this up. We will
look into it.
Thank you very much.
Fyodor Lukyanov: Just a quick follow-up
on that. Mr President, are you not afraid
of excessive acts?
Vladimir Putin: I am not afraid
of anything, why is everyone trying to scare me?
Fyodor Lukyanov: Okay, then we are
afraid, and you tell us about excessive acts, since
you know your former security service colleagues
Vladimir Putin: Not everyone, this is
a mass organisation, how can I know everyone?
Fyodor Lukyanov: Well, not everyone, but
Vladimir Putin: When I was [FSB]director,
I sometimes even summoned operatives with specific
cases and read them myself. And now I do not know
everyone there. I left it a long time ago.
Fyodor Lukyanov: I am talking about
specific cases. Their psychological makeup is that
overdoing things is a safer approach than missing
things. Will there be no blanket approach
to identifying foreign agents?
Vladimir Putin: What?
Fyodor Lukyanov: Will they not use
a blanket approach to identifying foreign agents?
Vladimir Putin: Is there anything there
that looks like a blanket approach? How many do we
have? Every second, or what? I believe there is no
such thing as widespread branding of people
as foreign agents.
I think the danger is vastly exaggerated.
I believe I have formulated the underlying reasons
for adopting this law quite clearly.
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