Russian President Vladimir Putin gloated Thursday about what he sees as the end of the United States’ world dominance due to growing “mistakes.”
Putin also claimed America holds “some responsibility” for the disappearance of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi because the Saudi journalist was living in the U.S., he said in annual foreign policy speech, according to the Financial Times. He did not elaborate. Khashoggi has not been seen since he entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2. Turkish officials say he was murdered and dismembered by orders of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
“In this regard, the U.S. has a certain responsibility. If someone knows what happens and there was a murder, I hope some evidence is provided. And dependent on that, we will make some decisions,” Putin added in his remarks in the Black Sea resort of Sochi. He said there was currently no reason to “harm our relations with Saudi Arabia.”
As for the U.S., he said that “empires often think they can make some little mistakes ... because they’re so powerful. But when the number of these mistakes keeps growing, it reaches a level they cannot sustain.”
He added: “A country can get the sense from impunity that you can do anything. This is the result of the monopoly from a unipolar world ... . Luckily this monopoly is disappearing. It’s almost done.”
Putin also boasted that Russia’s “hypersonic” weapon system will be the best in the world within months. Such a system would allow missile speeds of at least five times the speed of sound, or about one mile per second, CNBC reported. The U.S. is currently incapable of defending itself against such a system, CNBC said.
Putin said Russia’s nuclear weapons would be used only to retaliate against an enemy strike. “We have no concept of a preemptive strike,” Putin said in response to a question, Agence France-Presse reported. “The aggressor will have to understand that retaliation is inevitable, that it will be destroyed and that we, as victims of aggression, as martyrs, will go to heaven.”
Putin shrugged off deteriorating relationships with the West, saying Russia is forging stronger friendships with Asia and the Mideast. Yet he also said President Donald Trump is continuing to work to improve ties with Russia.
“It’s better to talk, to have a conversation, than to be like cats and dogs that keep fighting each other,” Putin said, according to the Financial Times.