Western-style liberalism is obsolete, says Vladimir Putin
The liberal ideology that has long underpinned western democracies has ‘outlived its purpose’, reflected in the election of US president Donald Trump and the rise of nationalist-populist movements, Russian president Vladimir Putin has said.
Speaking to the Financial Times in Kremlin before the G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan, Putin lauded the rise of populism in Europe and America, adding that ideas such as multiculturalism are “no longer tenable”.
“(Liberals) cannot simply dictate anything to anyone just like they have been attempting to do over the recent decades,” he said in the widely-noted interview published on Friday.
“The liberal idea has become obsolete. It has come into conflict with the interests of the overwhelming majority of the population,” he said.
The Russian president called German chancellor Angela Merkel’s allowing large numbers of refugees to settle in Germany a ‘cardinal mistake’.
“This liberal idea presupposes that nothing needs to be done. That migrants can kill, plunder and rape with impunity because their rights as migrants have to be protected,” he added.
Putin also praised Trump, calling him a “talented person” who knew how to relate to voters, and lauded the latter’s controversial attempts to prevent migrants from entering the US from Mexico.
Prime minister Theresa May is due to meet Putin during the Group 20 Summit, and raise the issue of the alleged poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury in March 2018, which sparked off a major diplomatic row between the UK, its allies and Russia. The UK and its allies blamed Russian military intelligence, a charge Russia has denied.