Putin made this statement on Thursday, Oct. 5, during the annual summit of the Russian think tank the Valdai Discussion Club in the Black Sea resort town of Sochi. "We are, in fact, faced with the task of building a new world," he said.
He further claimed that the United States and the rest of the Western world have spurned Moscow's "goodwill" and efforts to build a "new and fairer world order" after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, including by rebuffing the newly established Russian Federation's proposal to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which he said has raised the risk of global war. (Related: Putin accuses U.K. of training Ukrainian saboteurs to disrupt Russian nuclear plants.)
"Our readiness for constructive interaction was misunderstood by some as submission, as an agreement that the new order will be built by those who proclaimed themselves the winners of the Cold War," said Putin. "All these years we have repeatedly warned that this approach not only leads to a dead end but is fraught with the growing threat of military conflict."
"But no one was going to listen to us, no one wanted to hear us," he added. "The arrogance of our so-called partners in the West was simply off the charts."
In his speech during the Valdai Discussion Club, Putin also pointed out that the Russian special military operation in Ukraine is all about finishing the conflict that the U.S. started back in 2014 at the beginning of the Washington-supported Ukrainian Maidan Revolution.
"We did not start the so-called war in Ukraine. On the contrary, we are trying to finish it," he said. Putin added that the nearly decade-long conflict in Ukraine was started by the U.S. because it wanted to be a "hegemon" over Eastern Europe and because the country saw itself as the only arbiter of truth on the planet.
Putin further commented that Western leaders had lost "a sense of reality" because of Washington's "colonial thinking." He then questioned what right the U.S. had to lecture any other country on its actions.
Putin denied that Russia is seeking any territorial gains in Ukraine apart from maintaining its hold over Crimea, which it occupied in 2014 with the support of the Russian-speaking populace, and the breakaway Eastern Ukrainian provinces of Donetsk and Luhansk, both of which are also dominated by Russian speakers and do not see themselves as Ukrainian. Putin added that the conflict was being fought over "the principles on which the new world order will be based."
"Lasting peace will be established only when everyone feels safe, understands that their opinion is respected and that there is balance in the world, when no one is able to force others to live and behave as the hegemon wishes," said Putin. "I have to say, unfortunately, that our counterparts in the West have lost their sense of reality and have crossed all possible boundaries."
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Watch this clip of a speech Putin gave to a classroom full of students about why he believes it is impossible for Russia to be defeated.