Putin tells Russian billionaires to intervene in ‘sanctions war’

Russian President Vladimir Putin told Russian billionaires to intervene in the face of what he called a “sanctions war” from the West at an annual meeting of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs.

CNN reported that Putin blamed Russia’s recent drop in GDP on the tightening of sanctions during his year-long war against neighboring Ukraine, telling Russian business elites that “these problems…didn’t have were created by us”.

“It was 4.7% (drop in GDP) for well-known reasons, as you know – the sanctions war, the unprecedented challenges of the global economy and the system of international relations,” Putin said, according to CNN.

A number of Russian businessmen, oligarchs, civil servants and financial institutions have been hit with sanctions from the United States and other Western countries since the start of the war.

The Russian president called on the public, which included a number of prominent billionaire oligarchs, to invest in their own territory to help boost the country’s economy.

“A responsible entrepreneur is a true citizen of Russia, of his country, a citizen who understands and acts in his interest,” Putin said, as reported by Reuters. “It does not hide assets abroad, but registers companies here in our country and does not become dependent on foreign authorities.”

Both outlets noted that this was Putin’s first face-to-face meeting with top business leaders since Moscow invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022.

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