Putin Points Finger Back at West, Biden for Causing Global Inflation Crisis

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday that Western leaders are responsible for inflation and food shortages around the world, blaming the sanctions targeting his country since the invasion of Ukraine.

After Putin launched his internationally condemned assault on the Eastern European nation in late February, the U.S., along with the leaders of other NATO and allied nations, responded quickly by implementing severe sanctions targeting the Russian economy and members of the country's elite. NATO members have also transferred billions of dollars of weapons and humanitarian aid to help the Ukrainians repel Russia's military attacks.

Meanwhile, the war has affected global supply chains already strained from the coronavirus pandemic. Russia and Ukraine previously supplied a large portion of the world's grain supply, along with many other agricultural products. Bans on exports of these goods due to the war have caused shortages in a number of countries, with the conflict and sanctions causing economic ripple effects around the world.

"The blame for this entirely and completely rests with the elites of the Western countries who for the sake of preserving their global domination are ready to sacrifice the rest of the world," Putin said in a Thursday meeting, according to Russia's state-run Tass news agency.

Vladimir Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday that the worst impact of the sanctions against his country would be felt in Western Europe. Above, Putin and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu at the Victory Day parade in Moscow's Red Square on Monday. Contributor/Getty Images

The Russian leader said that the fallout was less severe in his own country.

"Our production companies are gradually filling in domestic market niches freed up after unscrupulous partners left, including basic goods, industrial and service equipment, construction and agricultural machinery," Putin said.

Because of the Western sanctions, coupled with opposition to the Russian invasion, many Western companies have suspended operations or fully cut ties with Moscow since the war began.

But Putin said that the worst impact would be felt in Western Europe.

"It is obvious that...the continuation of the obsession with sanctions will inevitably lead to the most difficult consequences for the European Union, for its citizens," the Russian president said, according to The Moscow Times.

"Russia is confidently managing in the face of external challenges," he said.

Russia launched its assault on Ukraine on February 24, drawing swift international condemnation and widespread global criticism. A substantial majority of U.N. General Assembly members voted on March 2 to formally condemn Russia's actions. Only four nations—Syria, North Korea, Eritrea and Belarus—voted with Moscow against the resolution.

Putin's forces have been accused of "war crimes" and "genocide." International journalists have reported on mass graves in parts of Ukraine that were under Russian occupation. There have been numerous reports of civilians being shot in the back of the head with their hands tied behind their backs, as well as accounts of Russian soldiers raping Ukrainian women.

Moscow justifies the conflict by saying that Russian troops are fighting against Nazis leading Ukraine. However, the government in Kyiv is led by President Volodymyr Zelensky, who is Jewish and had family members killed in the Holocaust when the Nazis ruled Germany. In 2019, when Zelensky was first elected, with nearly three-quarters of the vote, the Ukrainian prime minister was also Jewish.

So far, Russia has largely failed to achieve victory in its war against Ukraine. Putin reportedly believed that his troops would quickly topple the government in Kyiv and take control of much of the nation. As the war continues in its third month, Russia has struggled to seize any major cities, while Ukrainian troops and civilians have defied predictions and resisted advances by Russia's troops.

Newsweek reached out to the White House for comment.