Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that Moscow has the opportunity to build partnerships not only with India and China, but also with Latin America and Africa, asserting that it is impossible to “fence off” a country like Russia from the outside. Putin, during a meeting with young entrepreneurs here on Thursday, said that the world is big and diverse.

“You have just mentioned China and India. Why only China and India? It is also Latin America. Perhaps, Africa today is still sleeping, but it is waking up, 1.5 billion people live there. What about Southeast Asia,” he was quoted as saying by Russia’s state-run Tass news agency.

Russia has the opportunity to build partnerships not only with China and India, but also with Latin America, as well as Africa, which “is still sleeping, but is about waking up”, Putin said.

Bilateral ties with Russia are a key pillar of India’s foreign policy.

India sees Russia as a longstanding and time-tested friend that has played a significant role in its economic development and security.

Apparently referring to the economic sanctions imposed by the West on Moscow following its military operation in Ukraine, Putin said “it is impossible to fence off a country like Russia from the outside.”

The present-day Russia’s mission is to “get back and strengthen” its sovereignty and territories, he said.

“It looks like our mission, too, is to get back and strengthen, and if we proceed from the fact that these core values are the basis of our existence, we will definitely succeed in achieving the goals ahead of us,” Putin said.

Amidst European Union’s calls to look for the alternatives of Russia’s energy supply, Purin said that the abandonment of Russian energy resources is unlikely in the coming years.

Rejection of Russian energy resources in recent years appears to be unlikely, he said.

“As regards abandonment of our energy resources, the probability is low in several years to come and nobody knows what will occur during several years. Nobody will set concrete plugs in wells, there is no such need,” Putin said.

The Russian President visited a multimedia exhibition at the All-Russian Exhibition Center, dedicated to the 350th anniversary of the birth of Peter I, the first Russian Emperor.

He praised Peter the Great’s role in building the Russian state.

Drawing an analogy to the time of Peter the Great, Putin said that Peter I did not seize any Swedish territories during the Great Northern War but “got them back.”

When Peter the Great had founded Russia’s new capital, none of the European countries recognised Russia’s right to that region, he said.

“Everyone viewed it as part of Sweden but Slavic people lived there from time immemorial along with the Finno-Ugric peoples, and the region was controlled by the Russian state. The same went for the western direction,” Putin said.

Putin said that Peter I was “a prominent statesman and military leader,” a patriot who had fully committed himself to serving his country.

According to him, Peter I’s ambitious reforms in state management, the economy, science, culture and education “helped strengthen Russia’s authority on the international stage and largely determined the country’s development as a strong and sovereign power for centuries to come.”

In October 2018, Putin signed a decree about celebrating the 350th anniversary of the birth of Peter I this year.

Peter I was Russia’s last tsar (1682-1721) and first emperor (1721-1725) under whose rule a regular Army and Navy were created in Russia, the city of St. Petersburg was founded, the country was proclaimed an empire and underwent major reforms.

Putin on February 24 announced a ‘special military operation’ in Ukraine, leading to a series of sanctions by the West along with condemnation by the UN, the EU and others. Many multinational companies suspended their business in Russia as a fallout of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

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