Russian President Vladimir Putin has said the West is reluctant to recognize “irreversible tectonic shifts” in international relations and that the Asia-Pacific region has become a magnet for human resources, capital and development capabilities. production.
Mikhail Svetlov | Getty Images News | Getty Images
Russian President Vladimir Poutine on Wednesday accused the United States of wanting to maintain a “dictatorship” over world affairs at the expense of Europe and the rest of the world.
Putin repeatedly criticized the West during a speech to business leaders gathered in Russia’s far east, saying sanctions imposed on Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine were a ‘danger’ for the whole world and worsened the situation in Europe.
“The pandemic has been replaced by new challenges of a global nature, carrying a threat to the whole world, I am talking about the stampede on sanctions in the West and the openly aggressive attempts by the West to impose its modus vivendi on other countries, to take their sovereignty, to submit them to their will,” Putin told delegates of Russia’s Eastern Economic Forum in the port city of Vladivostok on Russia’s Pacific coast.
“The high level of industrial development in Europe, the standard of living, social and economic stability – all this is thrown into the fire of sanctions,” he added.
“They are wasted on Washington’s orders in the name of so-called Euro-Atlantic unity. Although in reality they are fundamentally sacrificed in the name of preserving American dictatorship in world affairs,” Putin said.
CNBC has contacted the White House for a response to Putin’s comments and is awaiting a response.
Russia is widely thought to have been surprised by the West’s assertive and unified response to its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, which began in February with an ever-increasing number of sanctions against the Russian economy and personnel. and Kremlin-linked businesses.
The EU is trying to phase out energy imports, especially natural gas, from Russia – a move that comes at a delicate time for the bloc as it faces runaway inflation and a crisis of the cost of living.
Unsurprisingly, Moscow took a dim view of the sanctions and sought to circumvent the harmful economic consequences of them by turning to its allies in Asia to sell its oil. It also cut off all gas supplies to Europe via the Nord Stream 1 gas pipelineclaiming that the penalties prevent the pipeline from being repaired and functioning properly, a claim denied by Siemens Energy which supplied and maintained the equipment for the pipeline.
Sergei Guriev, an economics professor at Sciences Po and former chief economist at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, told CNBC that Russia is promoting a “false narrative” around sanctions.
“The story is wrong because Putin’s economy is hurt when you look at the actual numbers. In the second quarter of 2022, GDP was 6% lower than the first quarter, that’s an incredible speed of falling GDP. When you look the decline in retail trade turnover, the consumption of goods and services of Russian households, it is [seen] down about 10%. As far as fiscal affairs go, July saw a deficit of around 8% of GDP and that was with an oil price around $100. [a barrel].”
“Putin is not doing very well but what he is doing with his gas blackmail in July and August is trying to divide Europe… and [try to] make sure the Europeans stop pushing the sanctions.”
Meanwhile, in Ukraine, war continues to cause untold civilian suffering, death and destruction.
The United Nations said this week that from February 24, when the invasion began, to September 4, 13,917 civilian casualties were recorded in Ukraine with 5,718 killed and 8,199 injured – although the actual number is likely much, much higher given the chaotic nature of recording such data in wartime.
Millions of Ukrainians were displaced from the country during the war, with Russia accused of multiple war crimes and of repeatedly targeting civilian infrastructure, which it denies doing despite an overwhelming and growing body of evidence.
US President Joe Biden called Putin a ‘war criminal’ but on tuesday refused to designate Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism, a label claimed by Ukraine. The EU said Russia was “arming” energy supplies to blackmail it for sanctions relief.
Russia currently occupies some territory in eastern and southern Ukraine, but Kyiv forces have recently launched a counteroffensive to reclaim lost land.
The Russian president, who has been widely ostracized by developed Western countries following Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, said he believes the current situation has been precipitated by ‘sliding dominance’ of the United States in world politics and economics.
He said the West had been reluctant to recognize “irreversible tectonic shifts” in global politics and international relations, especially an eastern pivot.
Describing the Asia-Pacific region as a “magnet” for human resources, capital and productive capacities, Putin said that “despite this, Western countries are trying to maintain the old world order which has only benefited their”.
On Tuesday, Putin announced that China would pay for gas from Russian state gas company Gazprom in their two currencies, the ruble and chinese yuansignaling another attempt by both countries to sideline the dollar.
“Western countries have undermined key pillars of the global economic system built over centuries,” Putin said.
“We have seen the loss of confidence in the dollar, and the euro and the pound as currencies in which you can transact, hold deposits or assets and that is why, little by little, we are moving away from it. use of these unreliable and compromised currencies,” he said.
Russia itself is facing a harsh winter, with the central bank predicting an increasingly steep contraction in the third quarter.
Gross domestic product will fall 7% in the third quarter after contracting 4.3% in the second quarter, Reuters reported last month citing a central bank report. The bank expects the economy to begin to recover in the second half of 2023. Inflation stood at 15.1% in July, above the EU rate of 9.8% in the same month.
Speaking to business leaders on Wednesday, Putin said Russia would run a budget surplus this year and GDP would fall “by about 2% or a bit more.”