• Mon. Sep 26th, 2022

Western sanctions ‘mad and thoughtless’ – Vladimir Putin

President Putin also urged Russia’s leading corporations to continue doing business in the country.

President Vladimir Putin has described the sanctions imposed by the West on Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine as “mad and foolish.”

“The economic blitzkrieg against Russia had no chance of succeeding from the very beginning,” he stated at a seminar in St Petersburg.

He claimed that those who imposed the limits were the ones who were “most harmed.”

Western countries have been trying to find a middle ground between punishing Russia and safeguarding their industries.

But, addressing at the annual St Petersburg International Economic Forum, President Putin stated that the EU’s sanctions against Russia might cost the EU more than $400 billion (£326 billion).

He said that inflation was rising across the EU’s 27 members, and that the genuine interests of European citizens were being ignored — but he didn’t explain what that meant.

However, Mr Putin’s own officials have warned that the sanctions are wreaking havoc on the Russian economy. The international response, according to Central Bank Governor Elvira Nabiullina, threatens “15 percent of the country’s GDP.”

Ms Nabiullina also looked pessimistic about the chances of a quick recovery, telling attendees at a St Petersburg conference that “it’s evident to everyone that it won’t be as it was before.”

“For a long time, if not forever, external factors have altered,” she remarked.

The president of Russia’s largest lender, Sberbank, warned on Friday that the country’s economy may take more than a decade to recover to levels seen in 2021.

But, despite reports that an increasing number of business owners are focussing their energies on international operations, Mr Putin tried to strike an upbeat tone and urged Russia’s top enterprises to maintain working in the country.

“Make an investment here. It’s safer to stay at home. Those who refused to listen have lost millions of dollars abroad,” Mr Putin said.

The 69-year-old Putin also addressed concerns about a worldwide food crisis caused by the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, suggesting that Russia could greatly increase grain and fertiliser exports. He estimates that grain exports might reach 50 million tonnes.

Ukraine, along with Russia, is one of the world’s major grain producers, but it has been unable to export supply due to a blockade of its Black Sea ports.

The combat in Ukraine’s eastern city of Severodonetsk continued on Friday.

For weeks, Russian troops have been focused on capturing Severodonetsk and its twin city, Lysychansk.

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