Russian President Vladimir Putin warned during the World Economic Forum on Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021 that the world risks sliding deeper into instability as the coronavirus pandemic combined with global rivalries, international tensions, and new conflicts calling for broader international cooperation to tackle these challenges.
Putin pointed at growing inequality and unemployment and a rise of populism as potential triggers for new conflicts that he said could plunge the world into a “dark anti-Utopia.”
“The pandemic has exacerbated the problems and disbalances that have been accumulating,” the Russian leader said. “International institutions are weakening, regional conflicts are multiplying and the global security is degrading.”
Putin attributed the worsening economic situation to a Western liberal economic model that he said “foments social, racial and ethnic intolerance with tensions erupting even in countries with seemingly long-established civil and democratic institutions.”
The Russian leader pointed to what he described as the negative role of technology companies that run top social networks, charging that they have abused their position and tried to “control the society, replace legitimate democratic institutions and usurp an individual’s right to decide how to live and what views to express.”
“We have seen it all in the United States,” Putin stated.
Putin also claimed that there has been “increasingly aggressive pressure on those countries that disagree with a role of obedient satellites, the use of trade barriers, illegitimate sanctions, restrictions in the financial, technological and information spheres.”
“The era marked by attempts to create a centralized unipolar global order is over now,” Putin said in an apparent reference to the perceived global domination of the U.S.