During his annual address to Russian lawmakers, President Vladimir Putin said that Moscow is ready for dialogue with its international partners, but will not allow them to infringe on its interests or meddle in its decision-making.
“We will not allow any infringement on the interests of the Russian Federation and we will manage our own destiny without tips and unsolicited advice,” the Russian leader said.
He noted, however, that Russia is ready to participate in solving global and regional crises when necessary.
“We understand the extent of our responsibility and are sincerely willing to take part in solving global and regional problems, of course, where our involvement is appropriate, necessary, and in demand,” the president stated.
“We are committed to a friendly, equal dialogue, to upholding the principles of justice and mutual respect in international affairs; we are ready for serious discussion on the creation of a stable system of international relations in the 21st century. Unfortunately, in this respect, the decades since the end of the ‘Cold War’ have gone by in vain,” Putin noted, apparently referring to current tensions with NATO and the EU.
He said that Russia stands for “the safety and the possibility of development, not for just the chosen few, but for all countries and peoples, for respect for international law and the diversity of the world.”
The president also said that Russia’s policy towards its Asian partners, China and Japan, is not opportunistic or a response to the deterioration in US-relations, but based on Russia’s plans for long-term development.
“Once again, I stress that Russia’s active [Asia] policy is not dictated by some opportunistic considerations of today, not even by the cooling in relations with the United States or the European Union, but by long-term national interests and trends of global development,” the president said.
In his speech, the president also urged the United States to join Russia to jointly fight international terrorism.
“We hope to unite our forces with the United States in the fight against the real threat, not the fictional one – international terrorism,” he said. The president also emphasized the need “to strengthen non-proliferation regimes,” noting that “attempts to upset the strategic balance are extremely dangerous and could lead to a global catastrophe.”
The president made his remarks during the annual address to the Federal Assembly – the two chambers of the Russian parliament, the cabinet, regional leaders the judiciary and other dignitaries – on Thursday. Over 600 journalists, as well as representatives from both Russian and international media outlets, have been covering the proceedings, which took place in the Kremlin. It has been the 23rd such event in Russia’s modern history and the 13th speech delivered by Vladimir Putin.
(ANTIMEDIA) – The war on “fake news” embarked upon by Facebook, Google, and Twitter may be earning the media goliaths brownie points with establishment politicos, but users — and even employees — aren’t feeling as enthusiastic.
In the midst of backlash over the stunning victory of President-elect Donald Trump, which some people attribute to the preponderance of apocryphal headlines disseminated by Internet search engines and social media platforms, the companies are tweaking their algorithms in order to target specifically blacklisted sites, many of which happen to be alternative media sites that question the political and media establishment. Many of the sites are also financially dependent on ad revenue earned by organic and referral traffic directed by Google, Facebook, and Twitter.
Now, it appears Facebook’s new algorithmic censorship practices are causing some of its employees to quit. According to the New York Times, three current and former anonymous employees claim the company has had a new tool developed specifically to restrict certain kinds of posts from appearing in users’ news feeds in certain geographic areas. This form of censorship has been deployed under the auspices of facilitating Facebook’s entry into the Chinese market. Previously, the company did this in Pakistan, Russia, and Turkey, where the respective governments requested the ability for third parties to review and block posted content. Facebook granted the requests and removed approximately 55,000 total pieces of content.
Now Facebook wants access to 1.4 billion people in the world’s second-largest economy, China, and they are willing to adhere to draconian censorship practices in order to do so. It could be a complete coincidence that this new push happens to coincide with Facebook’s crackdown on alternative media, which has caused several employees to tender their resignations.
A Facebook spokeswoman responded to the report in a statement:
“We have long said that we are interested in China, and are spending time understanding and learning more about the country. However, we have not made any decision on our approach to China. Our focus right now is on helping Chinese businesses and developers expand to new markets outside China by using our ad platform.”
The question now is whether there is a connection between two different but simultaneous pushes for censorship by the largest social media platform in the world.