Interfax: Putin says Eurasia’s not a chessboard, it’s our home

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

(Interfax – July 9, 2015)

Russia and its neighbours in the Eurasian landmass should not be treated as a “chessboard” or a “geopolitical playing field”, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on 9 July in remarks reported by privately-owned Russian news agency Interfax.

“For us, this isn’t a chessboard, it’s not a geopolitical playing field – this is our home, and all of us together want our home to be calm and affluent, and for it not to be a place for extremism or for attempts to protect one’s interests at the expense of others,” Putin said in the Russian city of Ufa, at an official reception for heads of state from members of the BRICS and Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) groups.

The BRICS countries and members of the SCO and the Eurasian Economic Union “in many ways share similar traditional values, common laws of morality, truth and justice”, Putin added.

“We are united in the sense that the aims that have been set can only be achieved by acting collectively, on the basis of genuine partnership, trust, equal rights, respect and acknowledgment of each other’s interests,” Putin said. “We call for the drawing-up of coordinated responses to global challenges, for the affirmation of just foundations for contacts between states, with the UN playing a key role, based on international law, the principles of indivisibility, security and peoples freely determining their own destiny.”

The city of Ufa is hosting two summits in the course of this week: the BRICS summit (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) and the SCO summit (Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan).