Russia: Putin slams sanctions in pitch for new global order
Moscow, Sep 07: Russian President Vladimir Putin has admitted some sectors of the Russian economy are suffering due to sanctions and political pressure, which he referred to as the "economic, financial and technological aggression of the West," but remained bullish on building new ties with Asia.
Putin made the comments in a landmark speech at the Eastern Economic Forum in the far east city of Vladivostok on Wednesday.
"Other challenges of a global nature that threaten the whole world have replaced the pandemic," the Russian president said.
"I am speaking of the West's sanctions fever, with its brazen, aggressive attempt to impose models of behavior on other countries, to deprive them of their sovereignty and subordinate them to their will."
However, Putin added: "No matter how much someone would like to isolate Russia, it is impossible to do this."
Grain shipments under threat
During his speech, Putin accused Western grain importers of "outrageous cheating" and claimed that only two out of 87 ships went to poor countries..
The comments follow a deal that was reached with Ukraine in July, which was brokered by Turkey and the UN, aimed at shielding the world's most vulnerable from a looming food crisis.
Putin said he would consider limiting the destinations for grain exports under the deal.
On Wednesday, Ukrainian agriculture minister Mykola Solsky told Reuters news agency: "I also saw [the comments], but we are not seeing anything at our level."
Ukrainian presidential advisor Mykhailo Podolyak meanwhile called Putin's proposal "unexpected" and "groundless."
Putin outlines new geopolitical order
Putin also used his speech to lay out a new vision for global cooperation following the February invasion of Ukraine — one in which Iran and other Middle Eastern countries could play a leading role.
"Western countries are striving to maintain a former world order that is beneficial only to them, to force everyone to live according to the infamous rules that they themselves invented and regularly violate, rules they are constantly changing for themselves depending on the current circumstances," the Russian president said.
This was also reflected in the attendees at the summit in Vladivostok, who included Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and senior Chinese legislator Li Zhanshu.
Putin announced that China would buy gas from state energy company Gazprom in a 50-50 split of Russian rubles and Chinese yuan.
Myanmar inks agreement to buy Russian oil
Putin also met with the leader of Myanmar's military junta, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, at the summit.
Myanmar agreed to buy Russian oil products and to pay in rubles, the state-owned RIA news agency reported.
"I am very proud of you, because when you came to power in the country, Russia, so to say, became number one in the world," Min Aung Hlaing told Putin, as quoted by a Kremlin statement that translated his remarks into Russian.
The meeting marks Min Aung Hlaing's second trip to Russia in two months as the Southeast Asian country's military regime becomes increasingly isolated on the world stage.