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Putin Slams ‘Sanctions Fever’ at Far East Forum


Putin Slams ‘Sanctions Fever’ at Far East Forum
Russian President Vladimir Putin slammed Western governments’ “sanctions fever” and defended the invasion of Ukraine in a speech at an economic forum in Russia’s Far East on Wednesday.

“The [coronavirus] epidemic has been replaced by other global challenges that threaten the entire world,” Putin told the Eastern Economic Forum in Russia’s Pacific port city of Vladivostok. 

“I’m referring to the West’s sanctions fever,” he said, criticizing “blatant and aggressive” attempts to “subjugate” countries that have not imposed economic restrictions on Russia. 

Putin claimed that Western governments have fallen victim to their own sanctions imposed as punishment for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 

The Russian president alleged the loss of Russian raw materials had forced some European businesses to close, repeated his long standing claim that trust in the U.S. dollar is declining and said inflation was on the rise in the U.S. and Europe while falling in Russia.

When asked about gains and losses for Russia following the invasion pro-Western Ukraine in February, Putin appeared not to acknowledge military casualties or Russia’s economic downturn. 

“I’m confident we haven’t lost anything and won’t lose anything [after invading Ukraine]. Our main gain is strengthening sovereignty,” Putin said.

Putin also claimed that most of the grain leaving Ukrainian ports after a Turkey-brokered deal to lift a Russian blockade was reaching the European Union instead of developing nations.

Putin said European countries “acted as colonialists in recent decades and centuries” and “they continue to act so today.”

“With this approach, the scale of food problems in the world will only grow,” Putin said, adding it could lead to “an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe.” 

“Maybe we should think about restricting that route for grain and trade food? I’ll definitely consult with the Turkish president,” Putin said.

Putin was addressing the forum’s plenary session as part of his trip to Russia’s Far East, where he oversaw large-scale Vostok-2022 war games involving China and other Russia-friendly countries Tuesday.

Putin was joined at the forum by China’s top legislator Li Zhanshu, who ranks third in the Chinese government hierarchy, and Myanmar junta chief Min Aung Hlaing, whose government is also facing diplomatic isolation.

Putin also hailed the growing role of the Asia-Pacific region in global affairs as he seeks to shore up Russia’s partnerships in Asia.

“Western countries are trying to preserve the former world order that’s only profitable to them,” Putin said, accusing the collective West of “regularly violating and changing its infamous rules.”

“Other countries’ unwillingness to submit to this diktat and lawlessness forces Western elites to snap and make short-sighted speculative decisions in global security, politics and the economy.”

AFP contributed reporting.

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