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30 Nov, 2021 14:34

Russia not building ‘fortress walls’ but simply seeking to increase sovereignty – Putin

Russia not building ‘fortress walls’ but simply seeking to increase sovereignty – Putin

Russia is not looking to close itself off from the world and instead is very open to cooperation with other states, while taking steps to enhance its national sovereignty, President Vladimir Putin told a Moscow forum on Tuesday.

Speaking to ‘Russia Calling!’, an annual event being held online due to the Covid pandemic, Putin rejected the premise posed by the representative of a London-based investment fund, who said that many people in his field believe Russia has “built a kind of economic fortress.”

“We do not seek to create fortresses and live behind fortress walls,” Putin replied. “We are simply raising the level of our sovereignty, including economic sovereignty, and we will certainly continue to strive for that. But, we will also achieve it through cooperation with our partners around the world, wherever they want it.”

In recent years, especially since the sanctions placed on Russia following the reabsorption of the Crimean peninsula in 2014, Moscow has sought to make its economy less reliant on foreign nations.

READ MORE: Russia’s sovereign wealth fund cuts US dollar reserves to ZERO

One of the ways Russia has sought to keep its economy independent is by promoting trade in currencies other than the US dollar, including the Russian ruble. Moscow has already completely eliminated the greenback from its National Wealth Fund, in favor of euros and Chinese yuan.

Earlier this year, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov called on Russia and China to move away from “Western-controlled international payment systems,” suggesting that the two countries seek to make trade settlements in “alternatives to the dollar.”