Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday warned that "weaker" international institutions and a "deteriorating" global security system could lead to inevitable catastrophe resulting in a "war of all against all". Putin, while speaking at the session of the Davos Agenda 2021 online forum organised by the World Economic Forum (WEF), said that negative demographic consequences of the ongoing social crisis could lead to humanity losing entire civilisation.
Putin said that the world has a shared responsibility to prevent this as he mentioned his conversation with US President Joe Biden on extending the New START, a nuclear arms reduction treaty, which will expire in February this year. Putin said that the "inability and unwillingness" to find a substantive solution to similar problems in the 20th century led to World War II.
"Of course, such a heated global conflict is impossible in principle, I hope. This is what I am pinning my hopes on, because this would be the end of humanity. However, as I have said, the situation could take an unexpected and uncontrollable turn – unless we do something to prevent this. There is a chance that we will face a formidable break-down in global development, which will be fraught with a war of all against all," Putin said.
Putin said that to address these issues the world must work to improve the socioeconomic status of billions of people who still live below the income level set by the World Bank. Although Putin underscored that developing countries have benefited a lot in the past 40 years because of globalisation and the growing demand for their traditional goods. But, the Russian premier added that it also had its social costs, including a significant gap in individual incomes.
Putin said that it is not just developing countries, but the gap can be seen in developed countries as well, giving the example of the United States, where according to the World Bank, the low-income population has increased from 3.6 million in 2000 to 5.6 million in 2016. Putin said that the developed economies in Europe also show the same trend as the US in terms of individual incomes, where stratification has grown deeper.
Putin called for new, additional forms of cooperation, saying "multi-faceted approaches do work". Putin highlighted Russia's role in bringing stability in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, where Azerbaijan and Armenia fought a war for weeks last year. Putin also mentioned how Russia, the United States, Saudi Arabia, along with other countries worked together to bring stability in global energy market last year when crude oil prices skyrocketed because of disagreements in setting cap between the top oil producers in the world.