‘Fierce defence’ of Severodonetsk underway with 90% of housing damaged, local military official says

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his government continues to implement measures to fight sanctions imposed on Moscow by “hostile countries”.

“The Russian government is taking prompt decisions to ensure stable functioning of the market and the financial sector,” he told Eurasian leaders during a virtual meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council on Friday. “We are working on improving access to finance, to support working capital and liquidity.”

Russia had started asking countries to pay for oil and gas shipments in rubles, but Putin says the policy will be reversed for some partners.

“We are extending the practice of payments in national currencies for countries that have proven to be reliable partners for Russia,” he said.

The Russian president then addressed the issue of food insecurity, which has come to the fore since Russia invaded Ukraine, one of Europe’s largest grain producers.

“Russia and other members of our organization behave in the most responsible way,” he said, adding that Eurasian countries are completely self-sufficient when it comes to these products.

Putin went on to say that interest in the Eurasian Economic Union was on the rise “despite the complex international situation, triggered by the so-called collective West, with its confrontation.”

“For Russia, deepening relations with all Eurasian partners is very important,” he said.

The meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council took place on the second day of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) forum held in Kyrgyzstan.

Christi C. Elwood