Vladimir Putin at the UN calls for ending 'illegitimate sanctions'

Vladimir Putin at the UN calls for ending ‘illegitimate sanctions’ as secret CIA assessment concludes he is ‘probably directing’ Russian campaign to denigrate Joe Biden

  • The Russian President spoke to the UN by video
  • Earlier Tuesday President Trump tore into China and blamed it for the ‘China virus’
  • Putin said lifting sanctions would ‘be a great help in revitalizing global growth and reducing unemployment’
  • The sanctions were imposed following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and were strengthened following 2016 election interference 
  • Putin and his top aides are ‘probably directing’ the campaign to discredit Biden and interfere in the 2020 elections, according to top-secret assessment

Russian President Vladimir Putin used a video speech to the United Nations to call for lifting ‘illegitimate’ sanctions as a way to boost the world economy – as a top-secret CIA assessment tags Putin and his aides of leading a campaign to run down Democrat Joe Biden.

Putin’s speech came on a day when President Donald Trump, also speaking remotely, attacked China for saddling with the world with the ‘plague’ he called the ‘China virus’ in his own pre-taped video comments. 

Putin argued Tuesday that ending ‘illegitimate sanctions’ against countries like his could boost the coronavirus-hit global economy and create jobs, using his annual speech at the U.N. General Assembly to stress the need for multilateral cooperation against the pandemic.

He spoke as the world body grapples with how to improve the economy amid an ongoing virus threat that has thrown millions on unemployment.

In this image made from UNTV video, Russian President Vladimir Putin called for ending ‘illegitimate sanctions’ and said it would help the world economy

The August 31 CIA assessment, reported by the Washington Post, mentions the actions by Ukrainian lawmaker Andriy Derkach, who has assisted Donald Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani in his investigation of the Bidens in Ukraine.

‘We assess that President Vladimir Putin and the senior most Russian officials are aware of and probably directing Russia’s influence operations aimed at denigrating the former U.S. Vice President, supporting the U.S. president and fueling public discord ahead of the U.S. election in November,’ the assessment begins, sources told the paper.

In a somewhat muted speech for the often tough-talking Russian leader, Putin told the U.N.´s 75th anniversary gathering that countries need to work together better to fight the virus and other global problems.

‘Freeing world trade from barriers, bans, restrictions and illegitimate sanctions would be a great help in revitalizing global growth and reducing unemployment,’ he said.

Putin has been pushing for years to end U.S. and European Union sanctions imposed on Moscow after it annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, was accused of interfering in the 2016 U.S. elections, and other actions. Moscow views the Crimea annexation as legitimate, and denies meddling in the vote that gave Donald Trump the U.S. presidency.

U.S. intelligence has assessed the Russia is seeking to denigrate Democratic former vice president Joe Biden

In this image made from UNTV video, U.S. President Donald Trump speaks in a pre-recorded message which was played during the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020, at the United Nations headquarters in New York

Putin warned other countries against unspecified ‘interference’ in domestic affairs, and said ‘cybersecurity also deserves most serious deliberation within the U.N.’ – without mentioning the Russian trolls and hackers accused of manipulating U.S. public opinion in 2016.

Putin´s speech came amid tensions between Russia and the West over Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, who is being treated in Berlin for what German authorities said was a nerve agent poisoning, and as the EU ponders imposing sanctions over Belarus´ disputed presidential election and crackdowns on protesters.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel called Navalny´s poisoning an attempted murder that was intended to silence Putin´s most prominent political foe. Merkel´s office indicated she may be willing to rethink the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project, which would bring Russian gas to Germany under the Baltic Sea.

EU foreign ministers failed to agree Monday on imposing sanctions on Belarusian officials suspected of rigging the Aug. 9 election that kept authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko in power. A security crackdown on anti-government protests followed the vote. However, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said there was ‘clear will to adopt those sanctions.’

Russia also has drawn international criticism for speedily approving a COVID-19 vaccine, and some Western experts said it cut corners during testing. Putin has touted the vaccine on national television and said that one of his adult daughters had already been inoculated – and on Tuesday, he offered to provide the vaccine free to all U.N. staff.

However, both Russian and Western experts insist that further studies are needed to determine the vaccine’s effectiveness and safety.

The August 31 CIA assessment, reported by the Washington Post , mentions the actions by Ukrainian lawmaker Andriy Derkach, who has assisted Donald Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani in his investigation of the Bidens in Ukraine

Earlier, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said some countries ‘are seeking to impose concepts and standards like the `rules-based world order´ while trying to meddle in the domestic affairs of other states, using unilateral sanctions in violation of the U.N. Security Council prerogatives, and exhibiting intolerance and hatred.’

Putin called for unity and urged countries to reaffirm their commitment to the U.N. charter and international law, lamenting a ‘deficit of humanity and kindness’ between countries amid the pandemic.

He repeatedly stressed the Soviet Union’s role in helping vanquish the Nazis in World War II – the conflict that gave birth to the United Nations. Despite calls for deep reform of the U.N., Putin said the Security Council’s five permanent members should keep their veto power, and said their leaders agreed to an in-person meeting once the pandemic allows.

‘In an interconnected, interdependent world, in the whirlpool of international events, it is necessary to act together and rely on the principles of international law enshrined in the U.N. charter,’ he said.

Trump tore into China in a virtual speech at the UN, blaming the political rival for infecting the world with the coronavirus.

‘We must hold accountable the nation which unleashed this plague unto the world,’ Trump said – in a speech delivered by video from the White House, at UN General Assembly meeting that for the first time featured traditional leader speeches delivered remotely.

Trump complained that China ‘condemned my travel ban on their country’ even as it ‘locked citizens in their home’ to combat the virus, which scientists discovered in Wuhan in late 2019, in remarks the president said Monday had been prerecorded at the White House.  

He also attacked the UN’s World Health Organization, which he called ‘virtually controlled by China,’ and used the phrase ‘China virus,’ a slur he has been criticized for using in his speeches.

‘Seventy-five years after the end of World War II and the founding of the United Nations, we are once again engaged in a great global struggle. We have waged a fierce battle against the invisible enemy – the China Virus – which has claimed countless lives in 188 countries,’ Trump said. 

Trump then used the UN platform – which he previously used to unload on North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un before the two men held summit meetings – to attack China’s environmental record. 

‘The United Nations must hold China accountable for their actions,’ Trump said. 

Then, the president broadened his attack to slams on China’s environmental record.

He said it ‘ dumps millions and tons of plastic and trash into the oceans,’ over-fishes in ‘other countries’ waters,’ and ‘destroys vast swaths of coral reef.’ 

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