US think of themselves as “God’s own messengers,” says Putin on sanctions
President Vladimir Putin said at Russia’s showpiece investment conference Friday that the country’s economy will overcome “reckless and insane” sanctions, while condemning the United States for acting like “God’s own messengers on planet Earth.”
Putin began his address to the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum with a lengthy denunciation of countries that he contends want to weaken Russia, including the United States.
He said the US “declared victory in the Cold War and later came to think of themselves as God’s own messengers on planet Earth.”
Russia came under a wide array of sanctions after sending troops into Ukraine in February. Hundreds of foreign companies also suspended operations in Russia or pulled out of the country entirely.
Putin said trying to damage the Russian economy “didn’t work.”
“Russian enterprises and government authorities worked in a composed and professional manner,” he said. “We’re normalizing the economic situation. We stabilized the financial markets, the banking system, the trade system.”
Russia’s projected inflation rate has fallen marginally, but the current projected annual rate of 16.7% is still too high, he said.
Putin also vehemently defended his country’s actions in Ukraine. Russia has contended its neighbor posed a threat because of its desire to join the NATO military alliance.
“In the current situation, against a backdrop of soaring risks and threats, Russia’s decision to conduct a special military operation was a forced one,” the Russian leader said. “It was very hard to make it, but it was forced and necessary. It was a decision by a sovereign country that has an unconditional right, based on the U.N. Charter, to defend its security.”
Putin predicted Russia’s success in Ukraine after more than 16 weeks of fighting.