Western sanctions are a blow to Russia, but they also hurt the entire global economy, Russian President Vladimir Putin said during a government meeting on Wednesday.
“As their weapons, [Western states] choose economic, financial, trade and other sanctions against Russia. They are now backfiring on the Europeans and Americans through rising prices for gasoline, energy, food, and job losses associated with the Russian market,” said Putin.
He noted that the current situation is a lesson for Russian entrepreneurs, who should learn to choose partners wisely and keep in mind that “there is nothing more reliable than investments at home.”
“We see the position of those foreign companies that, despite the shameless pressure … continue to work in our country. In the future, they will certainly receive additional opportunities for development. We also know those who cowardly betrayed their partners, forgot about their responsibility to employees and clients in Russia, and hurried to earn illusory dividends by participating in the anti-Russia campaign,” Putin said, pointing out, however, that “unlike Western countries” who were quick to freeze the assets of Russian firms, “We will respect the right to property” of foreign businesses working in Russia and abstain from nationalizing their assets.
The Russian president described the sanctions policy implemented by the US, EU, and their allies as a deliberate “blow to our entire domestic economy, to our social humanitarian sphere, to every family, every citizen of Russia.” He emphasized that it is “a conscious, long-term strategy [to] weaken Russia,” which had been in the works long before Moscow launched its military operation in Ukraine.
However, Putin also said that Russia can stand up to the sanctions pressure. He specified that all national development goals for the country until 2030 must and will be achieved.
“Our economy, the state budget, and private businesses have all the necessary resources to solve long-term tasks. All the strategic national goals that we have set for the period up to 2030 must be achieved. The current challenges and opportunities they open up should only mobilize us,” he urged.
The president noted, that, obviously, adjustments will have to be made to all the programs amid the current events, “and here the initiatives of business circles, scientists, and public associations are in demand.”
The president warned that the new circumstances will require deep structural changes to the Russian economy, which may lead to rising unemployment and inflation, and “our task is to minimize such risks.” The head of state stressed the country needs to not only fulfill all its social obligations, but also to find new effective mechanisms to support citizens. In this regard, he called on the government to expand support for people who have lost their jobs, find ways to reduce the level of poverty by the year’s end and solve logistical problems leading to price spikes.
“The current situation is, of course, a test for us all. I am sure that we will pass it with dignity – with hard work, joint work and mutual support, we will overcome all difficulties and become even stronger, as it has always been throughout Russia’s thousand-year history,” Putin stressed.
“The Russian economy will definitely adapt to new realities. We will strengthen our technological and scientific sovereignty, direct additional resources to support agriculture, the manufacturing industry, and housing construction infrastructure,” the president added.