Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday took direct aim at the U.S. and claimed its “sanction inferno” was destroying Western influence and solidifying Asia as the future powerhouse.
In an address to world leaders at the East Economic Forum, the Kremlin chief claimed that Washington’s “waning dominance” was the reason the U.S. and its European allies had hit Moscow with severe sanctions following its invasion of Ukraine.
“Western countries are seeking to preserve yesterday’s world order,” Putin claimed in a speech that centered on his belief that Moscow has been economically targeted as an attempt to restore U.S. dominance at the cost of European success, not as a repercussion to his deadly war.
“Europe is about to throw its achievements in building up its manufacturing capability, the quality of life of its people and socioeconomic stability into the sanctions furnace, depleting its potential, as directed by Washington for the sake of the infamous Euro-Atlantic unity,” Putin claimed. “This amounts to sacrifices in the name of preserving the dominance of the United States in global affairs.”
Putin’s address coincided with the announcement Wednesday that he and Chinese President Xi Jinping will be meeting face to face next week for the first time since Russia invaded Ukraine.
The meeting underlines Russia’s and China’s efforts to bolster their alliance as tensions with the U.S. and Europe have mounted over what Western officials have warned is a rise in authoritarianism.
In the weeks leading up to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Moscow and Beijing declared the two countries had “no limit” to their partnership and have since engaged in war games and renegotiated gas deals to curb reliance on the dollar and euro.
“It is in front of our eyes that the dollar, euro and pound sterling have lost trust as currencies suitable for performing transactions, storing reserves and denominating assets,” Putin claimed Wednesday. “We are taking steps to shed this dependence on unreliable and compromised foreign currencies.”
The ruble is still worth less than $0.02 though it has strengthened in value slightly since before Russia’s invasion in February, while the U.S. dollar is worth nearly seven Chinese yuan.
Defense officials have said international sanctions have begun to play a role in Russia’s ability to finance and resupply its troops in Ukraine and reports have suggested Putin may be looking to international partners for assistance.
“Irreversible and even tectonic changes have taken place throughout international relations,” Putin said. “The role of dynamic, promising countries and regions of the world, primarily the Asia-Pacific region, has significantly increased.”
Officials from China and India were present at the Wednesday forum.
The White House did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.