Vladimir Putin, Russia’s president, lashed out at the United States this past weekend in what was called by the Kremlin a major speech. Putin put the blame squarely on America for the crises in global relations, food shortages, inflation, and trade chaos.
Putin did not put any of the blame on Russia’s military actions in Ukraine that many of the nations of the world are rallying against. The Russian president said that Americans “think of themselves as exceptional. And if they think they’re exceptional, that means everyone else is second class.”
This major speech lasted more than 70 minutes and was given at the annual St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.
Putin was placed in a position of leadership in a new global order that was willing to challenge America. He said the U.S. was still holding on to its previous status as the world’s lone superpower. Putin said, “Nothing lasts forever. Only strong and sovereign governments can speak their minds in this newborn world order — either that or they’re destined to remain colonies of the U.S. without rights.”
Putin’s speech was delayed by more than an hour due to cyber attacks that disrupted the security systems. He did talk about the war in Ukraine and the sanctions that have been imposed primarily by the West. He would not call Russia’s actions in the Ukraine war, but labeled it a “special military operation.” The Kremlin forbids calling it a war or invasion under penalty of the law in Russia.
This speech was given on the same day that the European Commission recommended that Ukraine be granted EU candidacy.
Putin said in the speech that he did not have an objection to Ukraine being given membership. He said that the EU was not a military organization, so Russia was not against them joining the EU.
He boasted in the speech that Russia would meet all of its goals in Ukraine. He mentioned freedom for the Donbas, the region in the east where Russian troops are in the midst of intense fighting with Ukrainian forces.
Putin Claims Sanctions Aren’t Hurting Russian Economy
Putin also boasted that the “blitzkrieg” of Western sanctions was a failure and it did not destroy the Russian economy as the West had hoped for.
But the economic development minister from the Kremlin has said that the country expects its economy to shrink by 7.8% this year. The chief of the central bank has confessed that the economy is not going to come back any time soon.
But Putin maintains that the sanctions have primarily hurt the countries that have imposed them. He said that the European Union has committed “economic suicide” by refusing to purchase Russian natural gas and oil imports.
He did acknowledge that the sanctions from the West have given his country some challenges like a lack of consumer goods. But he said that Russia would just keep getting stronger as time passes.