US Acts Like It’s ‘God-Sent to Earth’, Says Putin as He Condemns ‘Stupid’ Sanctions | world news

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Russian President Vladimir Putin said the United States was acting as if it was “god-sent to Earth with its sacred interests” in a combative speech at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on Friday.

He vowed that nothing would be the same in world politics and accused the United States of treating other countries as “colonies”.

He rejected attempts by the West to crush his country with “stupid” sanctions that amounted to an economic “blitzkrieg”.

Putin’s reference to World War II is a nod to a blitzkrieg – a rapid and intense military attack that surprises the enemy and the tactics behind Germany’s success at the time.

He said the gloomy forecasts for the Russian economy and the attempts to hammer it with sanctions had not come true.

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There were fears the Russian ruble could be pushed to 200 for every dollar – but Mr Putin dismissed this as a form of ‘information warfare’.

Amid a lengthy denunciation of the United States and its allies, the Russian leader said the West had tried to isolate or nullify “bad” states.

He drew applause from the audience when he reaffirmed his determination to continue the “special military operation” in Ukraine.

He said the main purpose of the incursion was to defend “our” people in the largely Russian-speaking Donbass region of eastern Ukraine – a justification that Kyiv and the West dismiss as a baseless pretext for the war.

The Russian showcase event is taking place this year with almost no Western participation.

His speech comes just hours after the European Commission announced that it proposed Ukraine as a member of the European Union.

In response, Mr Putin accused the organization of losing political sovereignty and said the EU could lose more than $400bn (£27bn) because of its sanctions on Russia.

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Ukraine moves closer to EU membership

Russia facing a looming recession

He said some global currencies were “committing suicide” in reference to the unprecedented freezing of around $300bn (£245bn) of Russia’s foreign currency reserves.

In response to the sanctions, he called on Russian companies to increase domestic investment to help realize the country’s “gigantic potential”.

Russia is facing an impending recession that is expected to be the country’s deepest contraction in at least two decades.

Meanwhile, the head of the British armed forces said Russia ‘strategically lost’ the war in Ukraine and is a “more diminished power”.

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Admiral Sir Tony Radakin says Vladimir Putin used 25% of Russia’s military for only “tiny” gains.

And while Russia could achieve “tactical successes” in the coming weeks, he said any notion that the war had been a success was “nonsense”.

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