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Putin tells Russian billionaires to stand against Western sanctions

 March 18, 2023

Russian President Vladimir Putin called on Russia’s billionaires to step up against sanctions from Western nations.

Putin shared the remarks during an annual meeting of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs.

Putin's challenge

“A responsible entrepreneur is a real citizen of Russia, of his country, a citizen who understands and acts in its interests,” Putin said, as reported by Reuters.

“He does not hide assets offshore, but registers companies here, in our country, and does not become dependent on foreign authorities," he added.

The economic impact

"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, according to CNN. "These problems, as you know, were not created by us."

“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.

Russia's oligarchs

The nation's oligarchs may not be highly motivated to join Putin following his remarks.

"[W]hile some of those closest to him took his advice and remained invested in Russia, others kept their money in palatial properties overseas and football clubs, and their companies remained listed on foreign stock exchanges," the BBC reported last year.

"They now find themselves scrambling to hold on to their assets amid the most comprehensive economic penalties imposed in the modern era. Here's what we know about some of them," it added.

After a year of sanctions from the West, Russia is feeling the economic impact but not at the level anticipated by some.

The original plan hoped to cripple the Russian economy to force peace talks and remove troops from Ukraine. So far, that has not been the case.

Instead, the West has focused on providing Ukraine with enough military assistance to resist Russia but not enough to defeat Putin's forces.

The sanctions on Russia have also been offset by help to Putin from China as the two nations have helped one another in numerous areas over the past year.