Russian President Vladimir Putin accused the West on Friday of colonial conceitedness and attempting to crush his nation with “silly” sanctions that amounted to an financial “blitzkrieg”.

Addressing the St Petersburg Worldwide Financial Discussion board, a showcase occasion being held this yr with virtually no Western participation, he returned time and time once more to the theme of Russia’s sovereignty and power within the face of what he offered as Western hostility:

“We’re sturdy folks and may deal with any problem. Like our ancestors, we’ll remedy any drawback, your entire thousand-year historical past of our nation speaks of this.”

Putin drew applause from the corridor when he reaffirmed his dedication to proceed the “particular army operation” in Ukraine that has unleashed what he mentioned was an “unprecedented” barrage of Western financial sanctions.

He mentioned the principle goal of the incursion was to defend “our” folks within the largely Russian-speaking Donbas area of japanese Ukraine – a justification that Kyiv and the West dismiss as a baseless pretext for a marketing campaign that has already led to the occupation of components of southern Ukraine far past the Donbas.

In a speech that lasted effectively over an hour, Putin mentioned the Russian troopers within the Donbas have been additionally combating to defend Russia’s personal “rights to safe growth”.

“The West has essentially refused to fulfil its earlier obligations, it turned out to be merely unimaginable to succeed in any new agreements with it,” Putin mentioned.

“Within the present state of affairs, towards a backdrop of accelerating dangers for us and threats, Russia’s determination to conduct a particular army operation was pressured – troublesome, after all, however pressured and crucial.”

He known as the marketing campaign the motion of a “sovereign nation that has the proper to defend its safety”, and accused the West not solely of whipping up anti-Russian feeling but in addition of “energetic army appropriation of Ukrainian territory”.

Putin mentioned america thought-about itself “God’s emissary on Earth”, and that Western sanctions have been based on a false premise that Russia had no financial sovereignty.

Washington and its allies have been attempting to “change the course of historical past”, he mentioned.

Shortly earlier than Putin was on account of start talking, the Kremlin introduced {that a} “denial of service” cyber assault had disabled the accreditation and admission methods of the convention, forcing him to delay the scheduled begin of his speech by an hour.

Putin mentioned the EU may lose greater than $400 billion this yr because of the sanctions, which he mentioned would rebound on those that had imposed them.

He dismissed ideas that Russia was accountable for a pointy rise in world costs of fundamental foodstuffs with the phrase {that a} failure to export 5 or 6 tonnes of Ukrainian wheat and 6 or seven tonnes of corn “would not change the climate”.

He mentioned Russia was prepared to ensure the transit of ships exporting Ukrainian grain throughout the Black Sea, however that Ukraine had 5 or 6 different methods to export its grain, by means of Belarus, Poland or Romania.

Ukraine has been utilizing various street, rail and river routes to attempt to get across the closure notably of Odesa, its foremost deep-sea port, for worry of Russian assault.

However the different routes are rather more cumbersome and their capability is at finest a 3rd of the greater than 6 million tonnes a month of grain and oilseeds that have been shipped from Odesa previously.

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