News ID: 103760
Publish Date : 17 June 2022 - 21:53

ST PETERSBURG (Dispatches) - President Vladimir Putin says Russia has weathered sweeping Western sanctions in a speech at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum.
Addressing the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), Putin stated that the unipolar world has come to an end despite all of its beneficiaries’ attempts to preserve it at any cost.
Putin said the United States acts as if it is “sent by God to Earth with their sacred interests” in a combative speech delivered at the Forum.
He vowed that nothing will be as it used to be in global politics and accused the U.S. of treating other countries as “colonies”.
He dismissed the West’s attempts to crush his country with “stupid” sanctions that amounted to an economic “blitzkrieg”.
Putin’s Second World War reference is a nod to a blitzkrieg - a fast and intense military attack that takes the enemy by surprise and the tactic behind Germany’s success at the time.
He said gloomy forecasts for the Russian economy, and attempts to hammer it with sanctions, had not been fulfilled.
Amid a lengthy denunciation of the United States and its allies, the Russian leader said the West has tried to isolate or cancel the “wrong” states.
He drew applause from the hall when he reaffirmed his determination to continue the “special military operation” in Ukraine.
He said the main aim of the war was to defend “our” people in the largely Russian-speaking Donbas region of eastern Ukraine.
His speech came just hours after the EU Commission announced it had proposed Ukraine as a member of the European Union.
In response, Putin accused the organization of having lost its political sovereignty and said the EU could lose more than $400 billion (£27bn) due to its sanctions against Russia.

EU Leaders Call to Immediately Grant Ukraine Candidate Status

On Thursday, French President Emmanuel Macron stated that Germany, France, Italy and Romania are all in favor of granting Ukraine immediate EU-candidate status, following a joint meeting between the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and the four EU leaders in Kiev.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, French President Emmanuel Macron, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi and Romanian President Klaus Iohannis arrived in Ukraine this morning to hold talks with Zelensky at the Presidential Palace in Kiev, RT reported.
After the talks concluded, the visiting leaders held a press conference at which they announced the results of the talks and expressed support for Ukraine amid the ongoing military conflict with Russia.
Macron was first to announce that all the present EU members were in support of granting Ukraine immediate candidate status to join the European Union.
He also added that France will deliver six additional long-range Ceasar guns to Ukraine on top of the 12 Ceasars that have already been delivered.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz stated that he’d come to Ukraine with a clear message – that Ukraine belongs in the European family and that Germany will support a positive decision on Ukraine and Moldova’s EU membership accession.
Italy’s Draghi also expressed support for Ukraine’s candidate status, stating that “We are at a turning point in our history. The Ukrainian people defend every day the values of democracy and freedom that underpin the European project, our project. We cannot wait. We cannot delay this process”.
Russian official, including former president Dmitry Medvedev and Kremlin spokesperson, mocked three European heads of state visiting Ukraine.
“European fans of frogs, liverwurst and spaghetti love visiting Kiev. With zero use,” Medvedev said on Twitter, referring to three stereotype linked to France, Germany and Italy.
Medvedev was president of Russia from 2008-2012 and is currently deputy chair of the National Security Council.
The leaders’ trip would have “zero use”, he wrote.
They “promised EU membership and old howitzers to Ukraine, lushed up on gorilka [Ukrainian alcoholic drink] and went home by train, like 100 years ago”, he noted.
“Yet, it won’t bring Ukraine closer to peace. The clock’s ticking,” he added.
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov also said the leaders of France, Germany and Italy should “not be focused exclusively on weapons shipments to Ukraine” during their visit to Kyiv.

* Comment: