On December, 12, at the 20th anniversary of Russian Constitution, Vladimir Putin made his annual speech to both chambers of the Russian parliament. One of the wide-raging speech highlights was dedicated to opposing foreign ideology and portraying Russia as a stonghold of tradition, stability, spirituality and culture which faces chaos of collapsing morality coming from abroad.
In particular, Putin said:
Dear colleagues , the world development is becoming more controversial and more dynamic. In these conditions, the historic responsibility of Russia is growing. And not only as one of the key guarantors of global and regional stability , as well as a state that consistently defends its approaches to values, in particular, in international relations.
The intensity of the military, political, economic, informational competition in the world is not reduced, but only intensified. And other power centers are closely following strengthening Russia.
We have always been proud of our country. But we do not claim the status of any superpower, understood as a claim on global or regional hegemony, or making an attempt upon anyone’s interests, we do not impose our patronage, do not try to teach anyone how to live. But we will strive to be the leaders defending international law, ensuring respect for national sovereignty, independence and identity of nations. And it is absolutely objective and understandable for a country like Russia, with its great history and culture, with centuries of experience of not so-called tolerance, being genderless and fruitless, but namely [the experience] of shared and organic life of different nations within a single united commonwealth.
Today in many countries norms of morality are being revised, national traditions and differences of nations and cultures are being erased. The society now is demanded to not only sensibly recognize the right of everyone to have freedom of conscience, political views and privacy, but also is obliged to recognize equality, as it may seem strange, of the good and the evil, in the sense of opposing concepts. Such “top-down” destruction of traditional values not only leads to negative consequences for societies , but is also fundamentally undemocratic as enforced on the basis of abstract ideas, against the will of the majority which does not accept the changes taking place and the proposed revision.
And we know that in the world more and more people are supporting our position on the defense of traditional values, which for ages have been a spiritual and moral basis of civilization and every nation: the traditional family values, true human life, including religious life, not only material but also spiritual life, values of humanity and diversity of the world.
Of course, this is a conservative position. But in the words of Nikolai Berdyaev, the meaning of conservatism is not that it prevents the movement forward and upward, but that it prevents from movement backward and down to the chaotic darkness, [prevents] returning to a primitive state.
In recent years, we have seen attempts to impose a supposedly more progressive model of development on other countries, and that it actually turned to regress, barbarism, a lot of blood. So it was in a number of countries in the Middle East and North Africa. This dramatic situation was around Syria.
On the Syrian track, the international community had to make a fateful choice together: either to slip into a further erosion of the foundations of the world order, to the triumph of the law of force, to the law of the fist, to the multiplication of chaos, or to collectively make responsible decisions.
I think it is the overall success that the choice was made exactly on the basis of fundamental principles of international law, common sense and logic of the world. External military intervention in Syrian affairs and propagation of the conflict far beyond the region is avoided , at least to this date.
Russia has made a very significant contribution to this process. We have acted firmly, thoughtfully and carefully. We never jeopardized neither our own interests and security, nor global stability. In my opinion, this is how mature and responsible power should act.
Full speech (in Russian)
Photo by Kremlin.ru