Vladimir Putin: EU is Finally Openly Talking about It, They Are Sick Of Washington’s Meddling
— When answering the previous question, you mentioned the USA's withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. As far as we remember, you actually first talked about this to the whole world in Munich back in 2007. You also talked about how the USA started to extend its jurisdiction over other countries and how dangerous it can be. The multipolar world and the unipolar world was the topic of your speech. Years have gone by. No one listened to you then. Now the EU and Canada are getting into a trade war with the USA. Not long ago, the German chancellor and the French president visited you. Personally… They obviously wouldn't say this publicly, but did they say it was time they withdrew from the sanctions against Russia? Or do they await permission from Washington?
President Putin: It's not just our face-to-face talks, though that's an important aspect of the negotiations with the leaders of France and the Federal Republic of Germany, with our colleagues from Austria, where I've been recently, and with representatives of many other European countries, let alone Asia. They don't just whisper it in the ear. They say it publicly now. One of the ministers of the government of France recently said in public, that the USA shouldn't be allowed to become the world's economic policeman. He said this in public. The former German Minister of Finance publicly said a few months ago that Germany hasn't been a sovereign state in the full sense of the word, since 1945. Indeed, everyone sees what's going on. Apparently, our partners thought that it would never be a concern. That's the counterproductive policy of constrictions and sanctions.
And now we see it happening; the introduction of protectionist tariffs on steel and aluminum not only for Europe, but for Canada and Mexico as well. Which are de facto sanctions. It's defined in a different way, but they're essentially sanctions. But what are they for? Did they «annex» Crimea? As many of our partners say. No! They're for the pragmatic national interests of the USA in the way the current government understands these interests. It brings us back to the point which I've been talking about. The point is we need to work out uniform, universally understandable and strict rules of conduct, both in the fields of security and of economic activity. Indeed, there is an understanding of this process. Back in 2007, when I presented my thesis in Munich, which has been oft-quoted since, I faced the problem that many of my colleagues were upset. They said it was too tough and inappropriate. But what was my point? My point was that the USA extended the jurisdiction of its laws beyond its national borders, which is unacceptable. This is exactly what is happening today but it's happening to our European partners and others partners. Why is it happening? Because no one wanted to listen, as you said, and no one did anything to stop this trend from growing stronger. And here we are. They got what they asked for.
—Dinner is served. Take a seat and… As they say in the film… I won't quote, it's a little bit rude. Dig in, please. But we should not speak about this ironically. There's something else even more important. Which is that it's becoming increasingly clear that it's necessary to sit down at the negotiating table and work out rules of conduct acceptable to all which will allow the world economy to develop efficiently.