Russia will stand up against sanctions and ‘provocations,’ says Putin at SCO summit

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President Vladimir Putin told Asian leaders on Tuesday that the Russian people were more united than ever, in his first appearance at an international forum since a short-lived mutiny last month.

“The Russian people are consolidated as never before,” Putin told a virtual meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, a group that also includes China and India.

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“Russian political circles and the whole of society clearly demonstrated their unity and elevated sense of responsibility for the fate of the Fatherland when they responded as a united front against an attempted armed mutiny.”

Putin’s speech and emphasis on Russia’s unity at a meeting with key allies appeared to show how keen he is to remove any doubts about his own authority on the world stage after the short-lived mutiny led by Wagner mercenary leader Yevgeny Prigozhin late last month.

Wagner fighters took control of a southern city and advanced towards Moscow on June 24, confronting Putin with the gravest challenge to his hold on power since taking over as Russia’s par-amount leader on the last day of 1999.

The mutiny was defused in a deal brokered by Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko. Putin has since thanked his army and security services for averting chaos and civil war.

In his speech, Putin said Russia would stand up against Western sanctions and “provocations.”

He said Moscow planned to boost ties with the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and supported the transition to settlements in local currencies in foreign trade. He also warned that the potential for conflicts and the risk of a global economic crisis were on the rise.

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