Vladimir Putin says liberalism has ‘become obsolete’
In an exclusive interview with the FT, the Russian president trumpets growth of national populism
Financial Times, Lionel Barber and Henry Foy in Moscow and Alex Barker in Osaka
June 27, 2019
Vladimir Putin has trumpeted the growth of national populist movements in Europe and America, crowing that liberalism is spent as an ideological force.
In an FT interview in the Kremlin on the eve of the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan, the Russian president said “the liberal idea” had “outlived its purpose” as the public turned against immigration, open borders and multiculturalism.
Mr Putin’s evisceration of liberalism — the dominant western ideology since the end of the second world war in 1945 — chimes with anti-establishment leaders from US president Donald Trump to Hungary’s Viktor Orban, Matteo Salvini in Italy, and the Brexit insurgency in the UK.
“[Liberals] cannot simply dictate anything to anyone just like they have been attempting to do over the recent decades,” he said.
Mr Putin branded Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision to admit more than 1m refugees to Germany, mainly from war-ravaged Syria, as a “cardinal mistake”. But he praised Donald Trump for trying to stop 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 added: “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.”…