President Vladimir Putin said on Monday the West’s influence was waning as its economy declines but warned Russian diplomats to be on their guard against a backlash from Moscow’s former Cold War enemies.
“Domestic socio-economic problems that have become worse in industrialized countries as a result of the (economic) crisis are weakening the dominant role of the so-called historical West,” Putin told a meeting of Russian ambassadors from across the world.
He told the envoys, gathered in Moscow, that they should try to influence events where Russian interests were at stake.
“Be ready for any development of the situation, even for the most unfavorable development,” he said in the 20-minute speech, parts of which were televised.
Putin’s speech was sprinkled with the hawkish rhetoric that has made many foreign policy experts predict a turn for the worse in relations with the United States following his return to the Kremlin in May.
The economic problems faced by the European Union are the “tip of the iceberg of unresolved structural problems that is facing the entire world economy,” he said.
Full article: Russia’s Putin says the West is on the decline (Reuters)