At ‘Russia’s Davos’, Putin slams US, says EU’s political sovereignty is lost – Times of India

Russian President Putin on Friday reprised his critique of the US as a declining power that treats its allies as colonies, while declaring itself exceptional and “the messenger of the Lord on Earth”. “If they are exceptional, then that means that everyone else is second-class,” Putin said of the US in an address at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum — an annual business conference once known as “Russia’s Davos.”
Putin, whose remarks were delayed by over an hour after the Kremlin cited “large-scale” distributed denial-of-service cyberattacks on the conference’s computer systems, spoke for more than 70 minutes but barely touched on the war in Ukraine. Instead, he focused on how he claimed Russia’s economy could flourish despite Western sanctions. He promised environmental and regulatory reforms as well as government initiatives to support demand for Russian businesses. “Russia is entering the approaching epoch as a powerful, sovereign country,” Putin said.
He said the EU had imposed sanctions against Russia on orders from Washington despite the damage to its own economy, saying that “the EU has completely lost its political sovereignty.” He claimed that Western politicians were falsely blaming inflation in their countries on the war in Ukraine to distract the public from what he described as the real reasons: excessive Western government spending and loose monetary policy.
On the domestic front, Putin insisted that the Russian economy would remain open to foreign investment and cooperation. “Russia, while our Western friends literally dream of this, will never take the path of isolation and autarky,” Putin said. He vowed to cut the red tape plaguing what remains of Russia’s market economy. And he issued a plea to Russian business tycoons to keep their money at home, pointing to sanctions as proof that they should cut ties with the West.

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