Vladimir Putin has boasted that liberalism in Europe and the US has ‘outlived its purpose’ and called the decision to allow millions of migrants into the EU a ‘cardinal mistake’ as the G20 summit in Osaka began today with the Russian President sharing warm words with Donald Trump.
The Moscow leader criticised Western views on gay rights, immigration and multiculturalism – which he claimed were an attack on ‘traditional family values’.
In an interview with the Financial Times, Mr Putin said ‘the liberal idea’ was on its way out as the public turned its back on these issues. And he claimed German chancellor Angela Merkel made a ‘cardinal mistake’ in her 2017 decision to allow a million refugees into the country.
He said: ‘[Liberals] cannot simply dictate anything to anyone just like they have been attempting to do over the recent decades.
‘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.’
The G20 – the countries with the largest and fastest-growing economies – are meeting in Osaka, Japan today and tomorrow and posed for the famous ‘family photo’ of world leaders, including Britain’s Theresa May, China’s Xi Jinping, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Salman and their host, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
The first major meeting was between Donald Trump and the Russia’s leader where the US President hailed their ‘very, very good relationship’ with Russia’s leader, adding: ‘It’s a great honour to be with President Putin’.
An extraordinary moment then followed their handshake as Trump told Putin: ‘Don’t meddle in the election, please,’ with a smile on his face, turning to grin at the Russian leader.