Russian president Vladmir Putin has labelled liberalism as “obsolete” ahead of the latest G20 summit, which gets underway today.
The 66-year-old claimed that the dominant ideology throughout western Europe had “outlived its purpose” during a wide-ranging interview with the Financial Times.
“[Liberals] cannot simply dictate anything to anyone just like they have been attempting to do over the recent decades,” he said.
Putin also criticised Chancellor Angela Merkel for allowing migrants into Germany, particularly from war-torn Syria, but praised US president Donald Trump on a number of things, including his efforts to prevent the flow of migrants and drugs from Mexico.
“This liberal idea presupposes that nothing needs to be done. That migrants can kill, plunder and rape with impunity because their rights as migrants have to be protected,” he said.
“Every crime must have its punishment. The liberal idea has become obsolete. It has come into conflict with the interests of the overwhelming majority of the population.”
Putin also praised Trump as a “talented person” who knows how to win votes, but blamed American unilateralism for the China trade war and the “explosive” tensions with Iran.
Tusk condemns Putin’s remarks
Speaking to reporters today, EU President Donald Tusk strongly condemned Putin’s opinions on liberalism
“Whoever claims that liberal democracy is obsolete also claims that freedoms are obsolete, that the rule of law is obsolete and that human rights are obsolete,” he said.
“What I find really obsolete are authoritarianism, personality cults, the rule of oligarchs, even if sometimes they may seem effective,” he added.
Despite his criticism of Europe’s embracing of multiculturalism and praise for populism, the Russian ruler claimed that Russia has “no problem with LGBT persons”.
“I am not trying to insult anyone because we have been condemned for our alleged homophobia. But we have no problem with LGBT persons. God forbid, let them live as they wish,” he said.
“But some things do appear excessive to us. They claim now that children can play five or six gender roles.
“Let everyone be happy, we have no problem with that,” he added. “But this must not be allowed to overshadow the culture, traditions and traditional family values of millions of people making up the core population.”