Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that Moscow would continue its military action in Ukraine until it achieves its goals and scoffed at Western attempts to drive Russia into a corner with sanctions.
Putin told an annual economic forum in the Far Eastern port city of Vladivostok that Russia had strengthened its sovereignty in the face of Western sanctions, which he said bordered on aggression.
“Russia resisted economic, financial and technological aggression from the West,” Putin said. “I’m sure we haven’t lost anything and we won’t lose anything. The most important gain is the strengthening of our sovereignty, it is an inevitable result of what is happening.
The Russian leader said the economic and financial situation in Russia has stabilized, consumer price inflation has slowed and unemployment has remained low.
“There has been some polarization around the world and within the country, but I see that as a positive thing,” he added. “Everything that is useless, harmful, everything that has stopped us from moving forward will be discarded and we will gain the pace of development because development can only be based on sovereignty.”
The confrontation with the West over Ukraine has prompted Russia to embark on a hasty shift towards Asia, and in particular China, once a junior partner of the Soviet Union and now the world’s second largest economy. world.
Putin said the West was failing because a futile and aggressive attempt to isolate Russia with sanctions was destroying the global economy just as Asia was rising to claim the future.
Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet next week at a summit in Uzbekistan, a Russian official said on Wednesday.
The visit to Uzbekistan, if it takes place, will be Xi’s first overseas trip in two and a half years. The two men last met in Beijing in February, weeks before the Kremlin sent troops to Ukraine.
The Russian military has held extensive military drills that began last week and ended Wednesday in the east of the country with Chinese forces, another show of growing ties between Moscow and Beijing amid tensions with the West.
Putin stressed that Russia will continue to protect its sovereignty in the face of what he described as an attempt by the United States and its allies to preserve their global dominance, saying “the world must not be based on the dictates of a country that considers itself the representative of the almighty or even superior and has based its policies on its perceived exclusivity.
He mocked Western attempts to cap Russian oil and gas prices, calling the idea “stupid” and saying Russia will have enough customers in Asia. “Demand is so high in global markets that we will have no problem selling it,” he said.
“An attempt to limit prices by administrative means is delirium, it is pure nonsense,” Putin added. “It will only lead to higher prices.”
He rejected the EU’s argument that Russia was using energy as a weapon by suspending gas supplies through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline to Germany.
Putin reaffirmed the Russian argument that Western sanctions hampered the maintenance of the last turbine still in service, forcing its shutdown.
He reiterated that Moscow was ready to “push the button” and start pumping gas “tomorrow” via Nord Stream 2, which has been put on hold by German authorities.