In an attempt to preserve its global dominance, the West has turned Ukraine into a "colony" and is using Ukrainians as "cannon fodder," Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday.
"For a number of years, the West has shamelessly siphoned and exploited its (Ukraine's) resources, encouraged genocide and terror in the Donbas, turned this country into a colony, and now cynically uses the Ukrainian people as cannon fodder, as a battering ram against Russia, continuing to supply Ukraine with weapons and ammunition, sending mercenaries, pushing it on a suicidal path," Putin said in a video message.
These are the "severe consequences" of illegal economic and trade sanctions deployed to contain alternatives to Western models of development, as well as color revolutions to oust "disagreeable governments" and fuel military conflicts, Putin said, addressing a "timely" and "very significant" meeting of senior defense officials of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) in Moscow.
Joint work between the SCO and CIS is paving the way to successfully resolving problems related to protection from external threats, ensuring global and regional stability based on mutual respect, and taking member countries' interests into consideration, added Putin.
Such efforts are especially important in the face of "acute challenges" connected to "powerful geopolitical shifts," he asserted.
"Before our eyes, the contours of a truly multipolar world order are being born. New centers of development are being formed in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, which are increasingly defending their national interests, protecting their sovereignty, and the right to their own path of development," he said.
At the same time, the potential for conflict is growing, Putin warned, stressing that this was a consequence of Western elites trying to preserve their global dominance by escalating international tensions.
"The US and its satellites are betting on the power factor. They have destroyed the architecture of strategic stability that had been created for decades and are aggressively expanding the geography of NATO expansion," he said.
Putin said the character and the scale of present-day threats demanded better interaction between defense bodies to create a flexible and stable security and cooperation system, equipped to deal with modern challenges and based on international legislation and mutual respect of interests.
He urged SCO and CIS member countries to step up exchange of information, sharing their experience of forming national armies, and boosting military and technical cooperation to adopt the latest weapons and equipment.
Putin underlined that for many years, SCO and CIS armies had been honing their coordination capabilities during joint exercises, adding that in the current situation, the significance of peacekeeping was also growing.
He underlined that Russia values cooperation with the SCO and CIS, with a closer partnership poised to "increase the authority and influence" of the organizations, contribute to security and stability in Eurasia and in the world, and strengthen friendship among peoples.