Friday, September 09, 2022

Gazprom Presents The Lullabye Of Winter For The West

DW  | Putin accused the West of attempting to "subordinate" Russia with sanctions during a speech at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok. He also announced new deals with China and Myanmar regarding gas and oil. 

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 said said Russia had been "grossly swindled" by a grain shipping deal that was reached with Ukraine in July. The deal, brokered by Turkey and the UN, was intended to shield the world's most vulnerable people from a looming food crisis.

The Russian president claimed only two out of 87 ships went to poor countries, and said Russia had been unable to resume lucrative fertilizer exports which had been promised as part of the deal. Putin said he would now consider limiting the destinations for grain exports under the agreement.

Ukrainian authorities hit back later on Wenesday, with presidential advisor Mykhailo Podolyak calling Putin's proposal "unexpected" and "groundless."

"The agreements signed in Istanbul ... concern only one issue, and that is the transfer of cargo ships through the Black Sea," Podolyak told Reuters.

"Russia can't dictate where Ukraine should send its grain, and Ukraine doesn't dictate the same to Russia." 

Oil and gas in limbo

Russia is the world's largest natural gas exporter, and the second-largest oil exporter after Saudi Arabia.

Putin said Russia would renege on energy contracts if the Group of Seven (G7) countries imposed a price cap on Russian oil, threatening to cut the flow of gas to Europe.

"Will there be any political decisions that contradict the contracts? Yes, we just won't fulfil them. We will not supply anything at all if it contradicts our interests," Putin said. "We will not supply gas, oil, coal, heating oil — we will not supply anything."

Hours after Putin's comments, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told reporters: "We will propose a price cap on Russian gas... We must cut Russia's revenues which Putin uses to finance this atrocious war in Ukraine."




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