During a virtual appearance at the World Economic Forum, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that the world’s failure to resolve its conflicts could lead to a war that would mean “the end of our civilization.”
Putin asserted that the coronavirus pandemic as well as increasing political polarization has exacerbated preexisting global problems and that there is “every reason to believe that the tensions might be aggravated even further.”
Citing experts who have likened the current global environment to the situation in the 1920’s and 30’s, the Kremlin leader cautioned that the world was heading down a potentially disastrous path.
“In the 20th century, the failure and inability to centrally resolve such issues resulted in the catastrophic World War II,” he said. “Of course, nowadays such a heated conflict is not possible, I hope that it’s not possible in principle, because it would mean the end of our civilization.”
Putin said that the “destruction of traditional values” and freedom itself was on the line if the situation is allowed to deteriorate to the point of conflict where it’s “all against all.”
Elsewhere in his talk, Putin addressed Internet censorship, asserting that social media networks were now competing with elected governments over monopoly of power.
“We are now talking about economic giants, aren’t we? In certain areas, they are competing with states and their audience can include millions and millions of users,” said Putin.
“Here is the question, how well does this monopolism correlate with the public interest?” he asked.