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1 Aug, 2022 14:00

West threw global trade principles 'into trash' – Putin

Western sanctions are driven by opportunistic political interests, the Russian president claims
West threw global trade principles 'into trash' – Putin

The West has failed to take “obvious consequences” into account while imposing sanctions and has effectively “tossed into the trash” global trade principles, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday.

Addressing a virtual meeting on Russia’s metals industry, the president noted that the sector continues to face challenges in light of the Western sanctions. He highlighted the problem of limited access to international markets and the ban on buying foreign equipment for the production of fittings, rolled metals and steel sheets in Russia.

“As I have already said, these decisions were made by Western countries for the sake of political interests, moreover, current, opportunistic ones and not reflecting the realities either in world politics, nor in the world economy,” he claimed.

Vladimir Putin argued that the Western sanctions failed to take into account “obvious consequences”, such as the rising cost of building materials on the international market, and the spurring of global inflation.

“The decline in well-being and the quality of life of ordinary citizens, first and foremost in Europe, is of no interest to politicians, not to mention such things as adherence to the principles of the World Trade Organization. These things have been simply tossed into the trash,” the Russian leader added.

Putin described attempts to limit Russia’s metals industry as a blatant manifestation of unfair competition, a bid by the West to hinder Russian businesses and reconfigure world markets in their favor.

Western countries including the US and EU members have imposed sweeping sanctions on nearly all aspects of the Russian economy since the launch of Moscow’s military offensive in Ukraine in late February. The measures include limitations on Russian oil and gas, goods and financial services.

Last month, Putin branded the sanctions illegitimate, saying they ignore the fundamental principles of respecting another nation’s sovereignty and non-interference in its internal affairs. He insisted that such actions not only damage relations between states and peoples, but undermine the global legal system.

Putin also reiterated Moscow’s stance that it will always be a reliable and responsible partner for those who are committed to mutually beneficial, predictable business cooperation. He pledged, however, that Russia will not work to its own detriment with “those who are clearly unfriendly towards us.”