Russian President Vladimir Putin, following a three-day visit of Belarus leader Alexander Lukashenko, said that “there are simply no fully independent states in the world.”
“Sovereignty and independence are very close concepts, of course," Putin said at a joint press event in Sochi, according to an UNIAN correspondent in Russia.
At the same time, he added that "there are simply no fully independent states in the world."
To this, Lukashenko noted that this relates even to Russia.
Putin did not argue with the remark, noting that this applies to both large and small countries.
"The modern world is a world of interdependence. See what happens, say, in Western Europe. There, the European Parliament takes more binding decisions for all EU member states than the USSR Supreme Council once took for the Union Republics. Is this independence?" Putin said.
According to the Russian president, there is no independence in NATO, either.
“Let's take military alliances, such as NATO. Do you think any of the European countries want to have U.S. medium-range missiles in Europe? No one wants them, but they're sitting there, keeping quiet. Where is their sovereignty? But, apparently, they believe that, ultimately, they are generally interested in such an organization, in which they have invested part of their sovereignty," said the President of Russia.
Putin announced that supranational bodies had been created within the framework of the Eurasian Economic Union, to which the countries had "transferred part of their national authority."
“But even within the framework of the Eurasian Economic Union, we have interdependence. And we transferred there part of our sovereignty, part of our independence. We did this consciously, realizing that such work provides us with a greater level of competitiveness for each of our countries," said Putin.