Amid heavy fighting in Ukraine with strategic locations under intense shelling from Russian forces, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Western sanctions that were imposed to cripple the Russian economy have failed.
Putin was speaking at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), an annual Russian business event for the economic sector.
“The number of Western sanctions and the speed of stamping, do not know precedents. The calculation was clear. Impudently, with a swoop to crush the Russian economy due to the destruction of business chains, the forced recall of Western companies from the Russian market, and the freezing of domestic assets hit the industry, finance, and the standard of living of people. However, they did not work out!” said Putin.
The economic blitzkrieg against Russia initially had no chance of success, and the sanctions weapon is a double-edged one, said Putin.
Putin said that only direct, countable losses to the EU from anti-Russian sanctions will amount to $400 billion. The loss of the Russian market by foreign companies will lead to a decrease in their competitiveness, Putin added.
The European Union has finally lost its political sovereignty, its elites are dancing to someone else’s tune, causing harm to their population, said Putin.
The deterioration of the situation in the global economy is not a matter of recent months, it is not connected with Russia’s special military operations, said Putin.
Putin said Russia’s military operation has become a lifeline for the West to blame all problems on the Russian Federation.
Inflation growth in some eurozone countries has exceeded 20%, he said.
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Putin, commenting on the West’s statements about “Putin’s inflation”, said that this is designed for those who cannot read and write.
‘HIKE IN ENERGY PRICES NOT RELATED TO MILITARY OPS’
Problems with inflation, food, and energy are connected with the erroneous economic policy of the West, Putin alleged.
Russia is not involved in the rise in energy prices in Europe, it began long before the special operation, Putin said.
Possible famine in the poorest countries will be entirely on the conscience of the United States and the European bureaucracy, Putin said.
The US was a major food supplier, and now it has become a net importer. They print money and buy food around the world, Putin said.
Russia is capable of significantly increasing exports of food and fertilisers, said Vladimir Putin, promising food aid to African countries and countries of the Middle East.
The President declared that Russia’s budget in 2022 will be executed with a surplus of 3 trillion rubles.
Putin also proposed launching a comprehensive programme for the modernisation of housing and communal services.
Putin asked the government to allocate additional funds for the development of the Far East.
“I reiterate to everyone that all goals of the special military operation in Ukraine will be achieved, thanks to the valour of our soldiers and social cohesion,” President Putin said.
‘WON’T HINDER UKRAINE’S FOOD EXPORTS’
“We do not hinder Ukraine’s food exports and we have not planted mines in the sea. They have many other routes to send the grains, Black Sea port, through the land from Poland, Romania, Belarus, and others. Nobody is stopping them,” he said.
We welcome dialogue with the United Nations in order to facilitate food supplies to the world, he said,
The Russian president said it is not a time for the world as the principles of the global economic system are under attack.
Launching a fresh attack on the US, he said, after the Cold War, the United States declared itself the messenger of God on earth, without responsibility, only with interests.
“The ruling elites of the West are in illusions and do not want to notice the changes,” he said.
“Russian authorities are step by step normalising the economic situation,” Putin added.
Western elites think in terms of the last century, and treat countries outside the “golden billion” as colonies and second-class people, claimed Putin.