Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that Western elites’ “sanctions fever” against his country will only hurt them and their people.
In a speech before the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, the Russian leader stressed, “no matter how much someone would like to isolate Russia, it is impossible to do this.”
Putin said the blowback from EU and US-led sanctions is wrecking lives in the West.
“Now we are seeing how production and jobs in Europe are closing one after another,” Putin said, emphasizing that this is happening as “Western elites, who would not, or even cannot acknowledge objective facts.”
Putin highlighted the Western elites’ inability to recognize the inevitable shift from a unipolar to a multipolar world – which is also the name for this year’s forum “On the Path to a Multipolar World.”), or away from “the world order that benefits only them, forcing everyone to live under the rules, which they invented and which they regularly break and constantly change depending on the situation,” he said.
Putin also stressed the elite’s “growing detachment” from the common people they claim to represent because they “would not, or even cannot acknowledge objective facts” about global changes.
Entire European populations face freezing to death this winter because their leaders have denied vital Russian energy because of the Ukraine invasion.
“The [coronavirus] epidemic has been replaced by other global challenges that threaten the entire world,” Putin told the Eastern Economic Forum in Russia’s Pacific port city of Vladivostok.
“Western elites’ sanctions fever”
“I’m referring to the West’s sanctions fever,” he said, criticizing “blatant and aggressive” attempts to “subjugate” countries that refuse to impose economic restrictions on Russia.
Putin also dismissed the widespread claims that Russia is using gas as an energy weapon, calling the allegations “nonsense.” The Russian leader said it is as simple as releasing the necessary parts for pipelines’ safe and proper functioning.
“Give us turbines and we’ll turn on Nord Stream tomorrow, but they won’t give us anything,” Putin told the audience, addressing headlines of an EU-mulled price cap on Russian oil and gas, calling the proposal “another stupidity.”
Putin suggested the dilemma is simple:
“There are contractual obligations and if there are any political decisions that contradict them, then we simply won’t fulfill them. We won’t supply anything at all if it contradicts our economic interests, in this case. We won’t supply gas, oil, coal or heating oil.”
Putin said he’s still “confident we haven’t lost anything and won’t lose anything [after invading Ukraine]. Our main gain is strengthening sovereignty.”
“Let them come to their senses,” Putin said.
“The EU authorities are denying European businesses accessible raw materials, energy and markets,” he added.
The Russian leader explained how soaring inflation and plummeting living standards would continue to be sacrificed to American interests until leaders come to their senses.
“It will be no surprise when the market shares of European businesses, both in the continent and globally, will be taken by their American patrons. When they pursue their interests, they don’t limit themselves or shy away from anything.”
Putin also addressed the status of the Nord Stream 2 Russia to Germany pipeline, which was halted before it became online amid the Ukraine invasion, saying Moscow remains “ready” to begin pumping gas through NS2 if the other side is willing.
“We are not building anything for no reason. We have received and perfected the necessary technology. We will turn on Nord Stream 2 if necessary,” Putin said.
In response to claims by the West that Moscow is using the gas pipeline as an energy weapon, Putin said, “Nonsense. We supply as much as our partners need – we fulfill whatever they put in the application,”
Putin also acknowledged the sizeable Chinese delegation at the event, saying, “I hope to see Xi Jinping in Uzbekistan soon.”
Russian energy giant Gazprom issued a provocative video aimed at Europe and what it can expect for the coming winter: