Putin mocks the West and says Russia will press on in Ukraine

7 September 2022, 12:14

Russia Putin
Russia Putin. Picture: PA

Mr Putin told an annual economic forum in Vladivostok that Russia has strengthened its sovereignty in the face of western sanctions.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said Moscow will press on with its military action in Ukraine until it reaches its goals and mocked western attempts to drive Russia into a corner with sanctions.

Mr Putin told an annual economic forum in the far-eastern port city of Vladivostok that the main goal behind sending troops into Ukraine was protecting civilians in the east of that country after eight years of fighting.

“It wasn’t us who started the military action, we are trying to put an end to it,” he said, reaffirming his argument that he sent troops into Ukraine to protect Moscow-backed separatist regions in Ukraine, which have fought Ukrainian forces in the conflict that erupted in 2014 following Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

“All our action has been aimed at helping people living in the Donbas, it’s our duty and we will fulfil it until the end,” he said.

Russia Putin
Vladimir Putin said the main goal behind sending troops into Ukraine was protecting civilians in the east of the country (Sergei Bobylev/TASS News Agency Host Pool Photo/AP)

Mr Putin said Russia has strengthened its sovereignty in the face of western sanctions, which he said bordered on an aggression.

“Russia has resisted the economic, financial and technological aggression of the West,” he said.

“I’m sure that we haven’t lost anything and we won’t lose anything.

“The most important gain is the strengthening of our sovereignty, it’s an inevitable result of what’s going one.”

The Russian leader said that the economic and financial situation in Russia has stabilised, consumer prices inflation has slowed down and unemployment has remained low.

“There has been a certain polarisation in the world and inside the country, but I view it as a positive thing,” he added.

“Everything unnecessary, harmful, everything that has prevented us from going forward will be rejected and we will gain development tempo because development can only be based on sovereignty.”

Russia Putin
Mr Putin said Russia has strengthened its sovereignty in the face of western sanctions (Sergei Bobylev/TASS News Agency Host Pool Photo/AP)

He emphasised that Russia will keep protecting its sovereignty in the face of what he described as an attempt by the US and its allies to preserve their global domination, saying that “the world mustn’t be founded on the diktat of one country that deemed itself the representative of the almighty or even higher and based its policies on its perceived exclusivity”.

He scoffed at western attempts to cap prices for Russian oil and gas, calling the idea “stupid” and saying that Russia will have enough customers in Asia.

“The demand is so high on global markets that we won’t have any problem selling it,” he said.

“An attempt to limit prices by administrative means is just ravings, it’s sheer nonsense,” he added. “It will only lead to a hike in prices.”

“If they try to implement this dumb decision, it will entail nothing good for those who will make it,” he warned.

“Will they make political decisions contradicting contracts? In that case, we will just halt supplies if it contradicts our economic interests. We won’t supply any gas, oil, diesel oil or coal.”

He rejected the EU’s argument that Russia was using energy as a weapon by suspending gas supplies via the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline to Germany.

Mr Putin reaffirmed the Russian argument that western sanctions have hampered maintenance of the last turbine that remains in operation, forcing its shutdown.

He repeated that Moscow stands ready to “press the button” and start pumping gas “as early as tomorrow” through the Nord Stream 2, which has been put on hold by the German authorities.

By Press Association

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