Taking part in the meeting were Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko, State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin, Deputy Chairman of the Security Council Dmitry Medvedev, Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office Anton Vaino, Secretary of the Security Council Nikolai Patrushev, Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, Director of the Federal Security Service Alexander Bortnikov, and Director of the Foreign Intelligence Service Sergei Naryshkin.
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues.
We have several issues on today’s agenda; one of them is the development of relations with our friends on the African continent. Russia will host the Russia-Africa Summit soon. Another issue relates to a very important area, the use of information technology to ensure the country’s security.
But first of all, I would like to ask if anyone has anything relevant to discuss. Yes, please, Mr Naryshkin.
Director of the Foreign Intelligence Service Sergei Naryshkin: Mr President, colleagues.
According to information provided to the service by several sources, officials in Warsaw are gradually coming to an understanding that no kind of Western assistance to Kiev can support Ukraine in reaching the goals of this assistance. Moreover, they are beginning to understand that Ukraine will be defeated in only the matter of time.
In this regard, the Polish authorities are getting more intent on taking the western parts of Ukraine under control by deploying their troops there. There are plans to present this measure as the fulfillment of allied obligations within the Polish-Lithuanian-Ukrainian security initiative, the so-called Lublin Triangle.
We see that plans also call for significantly increasing the number of personnel of the combined Lithuanian-Polish-Ukrainian brigade, which operates under the auspices of this so-called Lublin Triangle.
We believe that it is necessary to keep a close eye on these dangerous plans of the Polish authorities.
Vladimir Putin: Yes. We should elaborate on what Mr Naryshkin has just said. This information has already appeared in the European media, in particular, the French.
I believe it would be suitable in this context to also remind everyone about several history lessons from the 20th century.
It is clear today that the Western curators of the Kiev regime are certainly disappointed with the results of the counteroffensive that the current Ukrainian authorities announced in previous months. There are no results, at least for now. The colossal resources that were pumped into the Kiev regime, the supply of Western weapons, such as tanks, artillery, armoured vehicles and missiles, and the deployment of thousands of foreign mercenaries and advisers, who were most actively used in attempts to break through the front of our army, are not helping.
Meanwhile, the commanders of the special military operation are acting professionally. Our soldiers, officers and units are fulfilling their duty to the Motherland courageously, steadfastly and heroically. At the same time, the whole world sees that the vaunted Western, supposedly invulnerable, military equipment is on fire, and is often even inferior to some of the Soviet-made weapons in terms of its tactical and technical characteristics.
Yes, of course, more Western weapons can be supplied and thrown into battle. This, of course, causes us some damage and prolongs the conflict. But, firstly, NATO arsenals and stockpiles of old Soviet weapons in some countries are already largely depleted. And secondly, the West does not have the production capacities to quickly replenish the consumption of reserves of equipment and ammunition. Additional, large resources and time are needed.
The main thing is that formations of the Armed Forces of Ukraine suffered huge losses as a result of self-destructive attacks: tens of thousands of people.
And, despite the constant raids and the incessant waves of total mobilisation in Ukrainian cities and villages, it is increasingly difficult for the current regime to send new soldiers to the front. The country’s mobilisation resource is being depleted.
People in Ukraine are asking a legitimate question more often: for what, for the sake of whose selfish interests, are their relatives and friends dying. Gradually, slowly, but clarity comes.
We can see the public opinion changing in Europe, too. Both the Europeans and European elites see that support for Ukraine is, in fact, a dead end, an empty, endless waste of money and effort, and in fact, serving someone else’s interests, which are far from European: the interests of the overseas global hegemon, which benefits from the weakening of Europe. The endless prolongation of the Ukrainian conflict is also beneficial to it.
Judging by the actual state of affairs, this is exactly what today’s US ruling elites are doing. Anyways, this is the logic they follow. It is largely questionable whether such a policy is in line with the American people’s true, vital interests; this is a rhetorical question, and it is up to them to decide.
However, massive efforts are being taken to stoke the fire of war – including by exploiting the ambitions of certain East European leaders, who have long turned their hatred for Russia and Russophobia into their key export commodity and a tool of their domestic policy. And now they want to capitalise on the Ukrainian tragedy.
In this regard, I cannot refrain from commenting on what has just been said and on media reports that have come out about plans to establish some sort of the so-called Polish-Lithuanian-Ukrainian unit. This is not about a group of mercenaries – there are plenty of them there and they are being destroyed – but about a well-organised, equipped regular military unit to be used for operations in Ukraine, including to allegedly ensure the security of today’s Western Ukraine – actually, to call things by their true name, for the subsequent occupation of these territories. The outlook is clear: in the event Polish forces enter, say, Lvov or other Ukrainian territories, they will stay there, and they will stay there for good.
And we will actually see nothing new. Just to remind you, following WWI, after the defeat of Germany and its allies, Polish units occupied Lvov and adjacent territories that had been part of Austria-Hungary.
With its actions incited by the West, Poland took advantage of the tragedy of the Civil War in Russia and annexed certain historical Russian provinces. In dire straits, our country had to sign the Treaty of Riga in 1921 and recognise the annexation of its territories.
Even earlier, back in 1920, Poland captured part of Lithuania – the Vilnius region, a territory surrounding the present-day Vilnius. So they claimed that they fought together with the Lithuanians against so-called Russian imperialism, but then immediately snatched a piece of land from their neighbour as soon as the opportunity presented itself.
As is well known, Poland also took part in the partition of Czechoslovakia following the Munich Agreement with Adolf Hitler in 1938, by fully occupying Cieszyn Silesia.
In the 1920-1930s, Poland’s Eastern Borderlands (Kresy) – a territory that comprises present-day Western Ukraine, Western Belarus and part of Lithuania – witnessed a tough policy of Polonisation and assimilation of local residents, with efforts to suppress local culture and Orthodoxy.
I would also like to remind you what Poland’s aggressive policy led to. It led to the national tragedy of 1939, when Poland’s Western allies threw it to the German wolf, the German miliary machine. Poland actually lost its independence and statehood, which were only restored thanks in a large measure to the Soviet Union. It was also thanks to the Soviet Union and thanks to Stalin’s position that Poland acquired substantial territory in the west, German territory. It is a fact that Poland’s western lands are a gift from Stalin.
Have our Warsaw friends forgotten this? We will remind them.
Today we see that the regime in Kiev is ready to go to any length to save its treacherous hide and to prolong its existence. They do not care for the people of Ukraine or Ukrainian sovereignty or national interests.
They are ready to sell anything, including people and land, just like their ideological forefathers led by Petlyura, who signed the so-called secret conventions with Poland in 1920 under which they ceded Galicia and Western Volhynia to Poland in return for military support. Traitors like them are ready now to open the gate to their foreign handlers and to sell Ukraine again.
As for the Polish leaders, they probably hope to form a coalition under the NATO umbrella in order to directly intervene in the conflict in Ukraine and to bite off as much as possible, to “regain,” as they see it, their historical territories, that is, modern-day Western Ukraine. It is also common knowledge that they dream about Belarusian land.
Regarding the policy of the Ukrainian regime, it is none of our business. If they want to relinquish or sell off something in order to pay their bosses, as traitors usually do, that’s their business. We will not interfere.
But Belarus is part of the Union State, and launching an aggression against Belarus would mean launching an aggression against the Russian Federation. We will respond to that with all the resources available to us.
The Polish authorities, who are nurturing their revanchist ambitions, hide the truth from their people. The truth is that the Ukrainian cannon fodder is no longer enough for the West. That is why it is planning to use other expendables – Poles, Lithuanians and everyone else they do not care about.
I can tell you that this is an extremely dangerous game, and the authors of such plans should think about the consequences.
Mr Naryshkin, I hope that your service, just as the other special services, will closely monitor the developments.
Let’s get down to the main issues on our agenda.