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  • Putin at the annual Q&A session.

    Putin at the annual Q&A session. | Photo: President of Russia

Published 20 June 2019

“It affects the jobs in these countries, including the European Union. They lose our market,”

Russian President Vladimir Putin points out that United States sanctions against other world countries means that Europe suffers billions in lost trade. This follows news that some European countries are keen to end U.S. dollar-dominance in global trade, something Russia and China see as a priority to reshape international relations.

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On Thursday, during Putin’s annual live “Direct Line Q&A” event, he laid out the ways in which stepped-up U.S. economic sanctions hurt even their closest allies. Notably, said the presiden, European nations have suffered around 240 billion euros in damages due to trade loss following sanctions on countries, such as Russia.

“It affects the jobs in these countries, including the European Union. They lose (access to) our market,” said Putin June 20.

Russia may be hoping to peel away parts of Europe from the U.S. sphere of influence as EU leaders have growing frustrations around the continue dominance of the U.S. dollar in global trade that its government is weaponization for international power. Brussels has long been wary about the White House unilaterally pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal, something the EU played an important role in brokering during the Barack Obama administration in 2016.

“It’s of deep concern that the more the U.S. pushes Europe away from a common policy, the more they push Europe into finalizing true alternatives to the U.S. financial system,” said U.S. economics analyst, Keith Johnson recently in Foreign Policy magazine. If Europe’s patience with disruptive U.S. policies grows, it may limit the ability of the Trump administration to continue using the same kind of financial sanctions on other countries that it has thrust upon Venezuela, Russia and Iran.  

The previous week, Putin pointed out that Trump’s plan to send 1,000 more troops to Poland jeopardises peace within the EU, saying, "such actions undermine one of the few remaining documents designed to ensure military stability in Europe. Russia cannot fail to take this into account in its own defense planning and in its practical actions."

At the same time, Russia’s president told reporters during the Q&A that his country is overcoming US economic attacks. He said that Russia has taken the opportunity to boost national industry since imports have become harder to acquire. Putin pointed out that Russia has even begun producing goods it had never done so previously, such as marine engines, therefore providing local jobs and boosting Russian businesses.

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