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Putin says Russia will fight sanctions by shifting to new trade and energy partners

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President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that Russia would expand trade cooperation with new partners, including by switching gas flows to eastern neighbors, in order to combat Western sanctions.

Putin said in a televised speech that Russia would develop its economic relations with partners in Asia, Africa and Latin America to thwart Western efforts to isolate it economically.

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“We will remove restrictions in logistics and finance. Let me remind you that by introducing sanctions, Western countries were trying to push Russia to the periphery of world development. But we will never take the route of self-isolation,” he said.

“On the contrary, we are broadening, and will broaden, cooperation with all who have an interest in that.”

Russia’s energy sales to Europe have sharply fallen since the start of its war in Ukraine. Putin said it would increase gas sales to the east and reiterated his plan to build a new “gas hub” in Turkey.

He said it would define prices for gas sales to Europe using an “electronic platform.”

Russia’s economy is expected to shrink by 2.5 percent in 2022, Putin said.

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