Russian President Vladimir Putin has accused the West of hitting Russia with a "sanctions war," which he blamed for the country's decline in GDP.
"It was 4.7% (GDP drop) for well-known reasons, as you know — the sanctions war, the unprecedented challenges from the global economy and in the system of international relations," Putin said. "These problems, as you know, were not created by us."
He made the comments at an annual congress of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs — his first address to the business community since the start of the war in Ukraine
Russia was shifting its economy toward countries that had not introduced sanctions, he added, urging business leaders to help build a new Russian economy and thanking them for their efforts to help the Russian state.
“Russian entrepreneurs always have — in the pre-Revolutionary era, in the last decade — played a big constructive role in Russia, undertaking great responsibilities in developing new territories, social protection, and charity. And (they) have always been rightly proud of this. They have been the pride of our country,” Putin said.