Despite reports that more and more Russians are leaving their country, Kremlin chief Putin downplays the effects of Western sanctions in front of an international audience. Rather, they are not only a danger for Moscow. He also sees the aggressive war as a gain for Russia's sovereignty.
Despite the massive Western sanctions, Russian President Vladimir Putin considers it "impossible" to isolate his country internationally. "No matter how much some want to isolate Russia, it is impossible to do so," Putin told an economic conference in the Russian port city of Vladivostok today.
After the corona pandemic, there are now "new global challenges" that "threaten the whole world," said Putin in his speech. "I mean the West's sanctions fever, its blatantly aggressive attempts to impose behavior on other countries, stripping them of their sovereignty and bending them to his will," Putin added. He accused the US of its crumbling world dominance being the catalyst for Western "aggression" against Russia. "Tectonic changes" can currently be observed in international relations: the countries of the Asia-Pacific region in particular have become "new centers of economic and technological growth," he told an international audience.
But Putin also shot at EU countries. He accused them of having secured most of Ukraine's grain shipments since the port blockade was lifted. "Almost all grain exported from Ukraine is not delivered to the poorest developing countries, but to EU countries". Russia has done everything to enable grain exports from Ukraine again. However, European countries have behaved like "colonialists" in the past decades and centuries and "still behave like this today," said the Russian President. By importing Ukrainian grain, they have "once again" "deceived" the developing countries. With such an approach, "the scale of nutritional problems in the world will only increase," Putin said.
The Russian President claimed that the domestic economy was defying the massive sanctions imposed by the USA, the EU and other countries, while at the same time acknowledging that there were difficulties in some sectors and regions. Companies that rely on supplies from Europe are struggling.
The Kremlin chief also used the conference to once again defend the war of aggression against neighboring Ukraine, which had been ordered more than six months ago, as allegedly necessary to protect Russia. "I can say that the main gain is the strengthening of our sovereignty - and that is an inevitable result of what is happening right now," Putin said. Referring to the war, he added: "We haven't lost anything and won't lose anything." Moscow would have made many attempts to resolve the issue between Russia and Ukraine peacefully. But then the country decided "to respond to the actions of our potential enemy in a mirror-inverted manner: by armed means. We did it consciously." Many international experts see this as a mere pretext for the brutal Russian war of aggression, as a result of which thousands of civilians have already died.
Numerous state guests had traveled to the event in Vladivostok, including Myanmar's military chief Min Aung Hlaing and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan. Russian troops invaded Ukraine at the end of February. At the time, Putin justified the war, which in Russia is simply referred to as a "special military operation," with the alleged "liberation" of Ukraine from nationalists, among other things.