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The leading economies of Europe are experiencing “difficult times,” Russia’s president says

Russia has shown true resilience by not bowing to foreign pressure, President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday. He stated that Russia is a “self-sufficient country,” whose economy is growing despite the sanctions, while EU member states are living through “difficult times.” 

The president made his remarks during a meeting with residents of Russia’s far eastern region of Chukotka. Among other things, Putin was asked about threats received by a local volunteer group that supports the country’s military amid the ongoing conflict with Ukraine.

The president noted that Russians regularly receive threats from abroad, but “this doesn’t scare us.” He advised the EU to instead focus on their domestic issues. 

“They should think about themselves, what they will eat tomorrow, what they will wear,” Putin said. “They all have a ton of problems that are incompatible with our problems.” 

Even the leading economies of Europe are going through difficult times. We are growing and they are in decline… As it turns out, they are more dependent on us than we are dependent on them.

Russia became the world’s most-sanctioned country after launching its military operation in the neighboring state in February 2022. Many Western states have imposed several rounds of sweeping penalties on Moscow, with the latest restrictions targeting the country’s diamond trade. 

While Putin did not single out any particular state, his statement apparently referred to the situation in the EU’s long-time powerhouse, Germany. According to a fresh report by Bloomberg, which cited the data from Germany’s Federal Statistical Office, the country has likely entered a recession, with industrial production dropping for the sixth straight month in November. 

“Disappointing November production data and the recent business expectations deterioration point to a bumpy start to the year for industry,” Bloomberg wrote. While the country’s economy is expected to show slightly better results in the first quarter of the year, it might dip even further later into 2024, Bloomberg’s economists warned.

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