Putin ‘Most Visible Figure in World Politics for Many Years’: Experts on Russian Leader’s Speech

Russian President Putin’s speech at this Thursday’s “Results of the Year with Vladimir Putin” Q&A session and presser aroused interest in the media around the world. The leader elaborated on numerous key issues of international relations, including dedollarization, BRICS’ and Russia’s role in the world arena, the Ukrainian crisis, and others.
Explaining why Putin’s speech garnered significant attention, Riadh Sidaoui, a Swiss writer and political scientist of Tunisian origin, told Sputnik Africa that such resonance stems from the fact that the Russian leader is “the most visible, most famous and acclaimed figure in world politics for many years.”
The expert added that Putin gave the countries of the Global South “a chance to free themselves” from the US dominance that established after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
“I think Vladimir Putin is the most visible, most famous and acclaimed figure in world politics for many years, because the world has suffered a lot. I am talking primarily about the Third World countries, Africa, the Arab-Muslim world and Latin America. The world suffered greatly economically and politically from the collapse of the Soviet Union. The existing balance has been replaced by dominance, replaced by a world order dominated by the United States. Putin gave the countries a chance to free themselves,” he elaborated.
Sidaoui highlighted that “revolutions took place in Africa – first in Mali, then in Burkina Faso and in Niger,” with “soldiers and civilians raising Russian flags and portraits of Putin.”
“Putin has given all the peoples of the world hope that a new world order now exists. The domination is over. It is no longer possible to illegally invade a country like Iraq in 2003, or destroy Libya, as happened in 2011,” the analyst concluded.
On Thursday, the Russian president held the “Results of the Year with Vladimir Putin” program, an annual event during which the head of state answers questions from journalists and citizens in a live broadcast.

At the event, he underlined that linking the national currency to the US dollar is fraught with severe socio-economic problems.

US Dollar - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 14.12.2023

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Providing an African perspective on the dedollarization issue, Ovigwe Eguegu, a Nigerian рolicy advisor at African-led consultancy Develoрment Reimagined, told Sputnik Africa that the African countries suffer linking their national currency to the US dollar, because Washington “manipulates the interest rates” of local currencies.

“So many African countries see the dollar […] see the challenge of linking their currency not only from internal challenges that they have, but also with the US and the way it manipulates its interest rates, essentially exporting inflation to the rest of the world. So these are some of the reasons why we see countries pivoting away from the dollar,” he noted.

Commenting on Putin’s statement that the more countries use their national currencies in trade, the better, the expert noted that African nations could use the US dollar and euro while trading with the US and the European countries, however, it doesn’t imply that these currencies should be used in trade with China or Russia.
“So when we trade with America, of course, we can use dollars. Trading with the Europeans we can use the euro. But, trading with Russia and China, we don’t have to use the dollar and euro. We can come up with an alternative basket of currencies. And I think this is what makes many countries on the continent very hopeful and very much interested in BRICS because they see that this is a systemic issue that BRICS is trying to solve. That solution will be able to benefit countries across the world, particularly in the so-called Global South,” he highlighted.

Putin at the investment forum, December 7,2023 - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 07.12.2023

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The expert also noted that utilizing Africa’s own payment system could be a solution for the continent in terms of trade.
“I think the solution to Africa’s problem when it comes to global trade or international trade, cross-border trade is to, first of all, develop its own, utilize its own payment system. So we’ve done this at the African Union level with Afreximbank. It’s about how we ensure that we can trade more cheaply. And the best way to do that is to have our own system and use it,” Eguegu said.
Eguegu also touched upon the topic of BRICS, of which Russia will be the 2024 chair. The expert emphasized that the organization “is seen as a major force,” which facilitates the establishment of international relations based on the international law.
“Countries want a world where international relations are based on international law, establishing the UN charter and the UN process, not on some made up rules-based international order that nobody signed up to. And BRICS is seen as a major force in bringing that world to realization,” the expert underscored.
During his Thursday speech, Putin underscored that Russia’s work under its BRICS presidency will be dedicated to promote a fair world order.

Russian President Vladimir Putin holds his joint Direct Line question-and-answer session and annual press conference, where he answers questions from journalists and citizens as part of the Results of the Year with Vladimir Putin program. - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 14.12.2023

Russia’s Work Under Its BRICS Presidency to Be Dedicated to Fair World Order
Speaking about how BRICS promotes a better alternative approach in solving global problems than the West, the expert pointed to the organization’s role in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“If we look at the initiatives and efforts by countries to rediffuse the conflict, most of them have been led by BRICS countries or countries who are going to be BRICS members in a few weeks. The UAE has played a key role, the Saudis have been a very important role. […] China is bringing back the idea of an international conference on the question of Palestine, for instance. […] So this is the kind of action that shows momentum of the Global South trying to resolve some of these legacy conflicts and BRICS seems to be championing a two-state solution and even just the immediate cease fire,” he stressed.

On the Ukraine crisis, the expert reflected on Putin’s statement that “peace will come when Russia achieves the objectives of the special military operation.” Eguegu also highlighted that “Russia has been very consistent in what its objectives are in the special military operation, and it has also worked very, very hard to try to achieve them.”

“The Ukrainian offensive, you could say, a summer offensive rather, you could say has essentially been a failure, although people, as Zaluzhny, are using the word ‘stalemate.’ […] So I think now, of course, it’s expected that Russia will capitalize on the situation to achieve its objectives. The outlook in 2024 seems to be in favor of that,” Eguegu underlined.

In November, Ukrainian Commander-in-Chief Valery Zaluzhny said in an interview with the Economist that Kiev’s counteroffensive had reached a “stalemate.”
Source: https://en.sputniknews.africa/20231214/putin-most-visible-figure-in-world-politics-for-many-years-experts-on-russian-leaders-speech-1064120708.html

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