Western ‘economic blitzkrieg’ has failed – Putin
The Russian economy has withstood the pressure of unprecedented sanctions, according to the president
Western nations have failed in their attempts to destabilize the Russian economy with sanctions, President Vladimir Putin said at a government meeting on economic issues on Friday.
“As a result of the actions of the Central Bank, as a result of the measures that were taken in a timely manner by the government … a lot was done. And the so-called blitzkrieg that our ill-wishers attempted in relation to Russia, the economic blitzkrieg, of course, has failed,” he said.
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The president, nevertheless, acknowledged that the restrictions have hurt the country’s economy and “many risks still remain.”
Putin has urged that in response to the current challenges associated with Western sanctions, Russian energy companies should work for the long-term perspective. Gasification of the country’s regions and diversification of exports should be the key tasks for the government, he stressed.
According to the Russian leader, the government is already considering options for developing railway, sea and pipeline infrastructure for the supply of Russian oil and oil products to friendly countries, as well as gas transportation infrastructure to increase gas supplies to Asia and the domestic market.
Talking about the general economic situation, he pointed out that the world markets “are still in disarray due to the West’s calls to abandon Russian energy resources.”
Putin recalled that the price of Brent oil surged to $130 per barrel amid fears of a possible shortage, but in recent days prices have fallen by $20-$30 due to projections of a global economic slowdown.
The Russian president reminded his audience that he had repeatedly warned European leaders about the current situation on the global energy market, but no one listened. “They treated our warnings so dismissively. This is exactly the situation that we have warned about, this is happening today,” he noted.
Putin also indicated that if Western countries continue their sanctions policy it could lead to catastrophic consequences for the global energy market. Anti-Russia sanctions cause much more damage to those who introduce them, he said.
At the same time, the situation on the Russian energy market is stable despite the sanctions regime, the president explained. According to him, oil and gas condensate production in June reached 10.7 million barrels per day, which is 500,000 barrels more than in the previous month. Overall, Russia’s oil output jumped 3.5% since the start of the year. Gas production for the period from January to May decreased slightly, by merely 2%, the president added.