Russian President Vladimir Putin said the West's sanctions were short-sighted and a danger for the entire world which he said was increasingly turning towards Asia.
In a speech to the Eastern Economic Forum in the far east city of Vladivostok, Putin said the West had undermined the global economy with an "aggressive" attempt to impose its dominance across the world.
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He also said that it would be “impossible” to isolate Russia and that Moscow would defy the West’s attempts to push Russia off the global stage.
Putin added that following the imposition of sweeping Western sanctions in response to Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine, Russia saw more opportunities in entering markets in the Middle East and Iran.
Russia sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine on February 24 in what it called a “special operation” to degrade its southern neighbor’s military capabilities and root out people it called dangerous nationalists.
Commenting on the operation, Putin said Russia had not lost anything as a result of its military campaign in Ukraine.
“We have not lost anything and will not lose anything,”Putin said.
“In terms of what we have gained, I can say that the main gain has been the strengthening of our sovereignty.”
Putin conceded, however, that Moscow’s decision to send troops into Ukraine had created a “certain polarization, both in the world and within the country.”
Western countries have dismissed Russia’s claims as an attempt to justify a land grab.
“All our actions are aimed at helping the people who live in Donbas,” Putin said. “This is our duty, and we will fulfil it to the end. This will ultimately strengthen our country from within, as well as its foreign policy positions.”
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