Vladimir Putin declared last Thursday that the United States’ place as a figurehead on the world stage is nearing its end, arguing a series of mistakes “typical of an empire” are the cause.

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Putin believes the United States’ involvement in the Middle East is among the mistakes the country has made that has deteriorated its world standing. The sanctions the United States has deployed at the expense of Russia and other countries is another mistake according to Putin, who was speaking at the Valdai forum in Sochi.

“It’s a typical mistake of an empire,” the Russian president said. “An empire always thinks that it can allow itself to make some little mistakes, take some extra costs, because its power is such that they don’t mean anything. But the quantity of those costs, those mistakes inevitably grows. And the moment comes when it can’t handle them, neither in the security sphere or the economic sphere.”

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Continuing, Putin said, “Thank God, this situation of a unipolar world, of a monopoly, is coming to an end. It’s practically already over.” Nevertheless, Putin was careful to mention that he meant no offense to any specific individuals, adding in a brief defense for Donald Trump that shrugged off the notion that he only listens to himself.

“Maybe he acts like that with someone else, but in that case they are to blame,” Putin noted. “I have a completely normal and professional dialogue with him, and of course he listens. I see that he reacts to his interlocutor’s arguments.”

Putin also discussed Jamal Khashoggi, the Saudi dissenter who was allegedly murdered by them. Although Putin confessed that the United States “has a certain responsibility” to the late journalist as he used to live here, the Russian president has not been presented with conclusive enough evidence he was murdered and therefore will remain on amicable terms with Saudi Arabia.

“If someone knows what happens, and there was a murder, I hope some evidence is provided,” Putin said. “And dependent on that, we will make some decisions. We do not know what happened in reality. So why should we undertake any steps to deteriorate our relations with Saudi Arabia?