Russian President Vladimir Putin stressed on Wednesday, that the military operation in Ukraine is justified and aims to counter aggression against Russia.

In a video speech from Moscow at the BRICS summit held in South Africa, he said that the West’s hegemonic efforts are the reason behind the war in Ukraine, noting that the war was a response that Moscow forced to because of the actions of Kiev and the West.

“We’re fighting countries that consider themselves to be exceptional,” he said.

Putin noted that BRICS is on its way to meeting the aspirations of most of the world’s population.

He also said that Russia will seek international justice during its upcoming BRICS presidency.

“Russia will seek to expand the BRICS group during its next presidency of the group,” he added.

The Russian president also confirmed that the group stands with the idea of ​​a multipolar world, stressing that this bloc is struggling against the colonial countries that seek to maintain their hegemony on the international scene, which caused the Ukrainian crisis.

“The BRICS group supports the formation of a multipolar world order based on international law, including the right of peoples to development,” Putin said.

“The BRICS countries are against hegemony and neo-colonial policies,” Putin added.

He added, “We look forward to increasing cooperation between the BRICS countries in the field of research, and Russia is ready to exchange technology and technologies”.

“Russia is ready to work with the BRICS countries in international forums, including the United Nations,” Putin said.

The Russian president called on the BRICS countries to expand settlements in national currencies and cooperation between banks.

Putin noted that Russia has decided to support people who are fighting for their culture, traditions, language and future.

He added, “Russia’s actions in Ukraine are dictated by one thing, which is to put an end to the war waged by the Western-backed Kiev regime against peaceful citizens”.

Putin was unable to attend the summit because of an arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court for him in March for war crimes in Ukraine.

Russia dismissed the accusations as outrageous and said the move had no legal significance because it’s not a member of the International Criminal Court, however this is not the case for South Africa as it’s among the member states of the court, which means that it would have had to arrest him if he came to the country.

The importance of the BRICS group to Russia is growing at a time when its economy is facing Western sanctions because of the war in Ukraine, so Moscow is looking forward to building new diplomatic and trade relations with Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Putin’s remarks that Russia would remain a reliable food supplier to Africa and was now finalizing talks that would provide free grain to a group of African countries, as promised at a summit in St. Petersburg last month.

This promise came after Russia withdrew from an agreement that allowed Ukraine to export grain from its ports on the Black Sea and Moscow bombed Ukrainian ports and grain stores, prompting Kiev and the West to accuse it of using food as a weapon of war.

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