The restrictions have failed to tank the Russian economy, President Vladimir Putin said
The Western sanctions on Russia have backfired and hurt the countries that imposed them instead, President Vladimir Putin said during a government meeting on Wednesday.
“Over the past years, our so-called partners have adopted countless packages of sanctions … trying to punish us. However, in the end – it’s a completely obvious thing – the statistics show that they have hit their own economies, their own jobs,” Putin said.
The Russian leader urged officials to brace for more Western sanctions and even keep an eye on potential acts of sabotage from abroad, however.
“As the potential of the sanctions aggression against as has effectively been drained, it might be followed by actual sabotage on critical infrastructure sites,” the president warned.
“We remember what happened with the Nord Stream,” he added, referring to the twin undersea pipelines built to deliver natural gas from Russia to Germany, which were bombed in September 2022. Germany, Sweden and Denmark have shut Russia out of their investigations into the incident, which has so far failed to yield any results. Journalist Seymour Hersh accused the US of carrying out the attacks, after which several Western outlets offered an alternative narrative blaming a rogue Ukrainian group instead.
The US and many of its allies have imposed sweeping restrictions on Moscow in response to its ongoing military operation in Ukraine, targeting Russia’s financial and energy sectors, among other spheres. However, the Russian economy has managed to successfully adjust to outside pressure and find ways to substitute lost trade ties, Finance Minister Anton Sinualov said last month.
The European countries, meanwhile, have been grappling with inflation, which sparked strikes and protests against the high cost of living in several states, including Britain, France and Germany. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has said earlier this year that “the sanctions policy of the EU simply does not work,” arguing that the European bloc was primarily inflicting damage on itself.