WLadimir Putin’s speech at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum was postponed by more than an hour and a half this year. It was said that due to a hacker attack. The political message was clear from forum and state media reports that, despite Western sanctions, “everything will be amazing with the Russian economy, if not immediately,” the TV host said, as one is “at the center of global tectonic shifts.” The president also said this when he finally appeared alongside Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokajev and presenter Margarita Simonyanova of RT State Station, who thanked “our leader” for taking the time.
Putin himself then complained in a long speech that the Western partners had undermined the principles of cooperation “for their ambitions” and that the United States wanted to maintain a “monopoly world order.” According to Putin, all nations that do not belong to the Western world, the “golden billion” of the world’s population, are considered “second-class people.”
He reiterated that economic sanctions and the withdrawal of Western companies from Russia had failed; he recently used the German borrowed word “Blitzkrieg”. The fact that “we are strong people” shows “the whole millennial history of our country,” said Putin, who generally attached great importance to the victims for a historical perspective.
Putin threatens to raise prices
Putin hardly bothered with Russia’s problems. He promised to fight inflation – which has now given way to gradual deflation and economists see the beginning of a downward spiral. Putin promised the Russians cheaper mortgages and in a long part of the speech highlighted the prospects for rising prices, declining quality of life, further “populism” and “elite exchange” due to “constant electoral victories” of the parties (which remained unclear).
EU countries do not conduct “special operations” and yet have higher inflation rates than Russia, Putin said, referring to the war against Ukraine, which he also called a “liberation operation in the Donbas”, as if no other areas of Ukraine were targeted.
The decision (to invade Ukraine, ed. Note) was “difficult” and “forced” to ensure Russia’s security and sovereignty, Putin said, reiterating that the West had engaged in “military appropriation of the neighboring country.” He also praised Russian soldiers and volunteer fighters in Ukraine.
The hall applauded Putin, saying that all the goals of the “special operation” were being achieved, to which the soldiers had courage and heroism. The Kazakh president, who is interested in cooperating with the West, sat frozen when Putin promised that Russia would cooperate with any country that wished, and would have “real leaders” who would resist American pressure.
gas war against the West
Putin has accused Europeans of misleading energy policies, saying they can do it for themselves at rising prices. Similar statements were made at the forum by other officials, such as Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller, who also introduced Nord Stream 2 on Thursday – the pipeline project came to a halt after Putin recognized the “People’s Republic” shortly before the attack on Ukraine; is “ready for operation at all times”.
LPG will also not be able to meet European demand, Miller said. The Kremlin’s current goal seems to be to increase suffering in the West by reducing gas supplies in order to ease sanctions or at least harm the enemy, as it considers itself more capable of suffering.
Putin is courting Russian wealth
In his speech, Putin accused the “demagogues” of accusing Russia of rising fertilizer prices and said that Russia would supply grain to countries in Africa and the Middle East at risk of starvation. Ukraine should demine its ports, Putin reiterates, in response to allegations of occupation or blocking of the country’s ports and non-release of Ukrainian grain to the market. Addressing the rich Russian who have lost a lot of money abroad, Putin advertised investing in Russia: There are great opportunities.
This was a reminder of the motto of this year’s forum “New world – new opportunities”. The decisive battle against the West, which according to Moscow is currently raging in Ukraine, should also have something positive. No representatives from “hostile countries” came to St. Petersburg this year (Moscow’s list includes all EU member states, the USA and the United Kingdom). Instead, representatives of the Afghan radical Islamist Taliban were spotted. Denis Puschilin, the “head” of the pro-Russian “Donetsk People’s Republic” in Donbas, set the tone of the forum on Wednesday evening and launched an action alongside the St. Petersburg governor with a cannon shot.