ST. PETERSBURG, June 18. /TASS/. A partial sovereignty of a country is impossible in the 21st century, so Russia needs to defend its economic and financial independence, Russian President Vladimir Putin told the plenary session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) on Friday.
"[State] sovereignty cannot be partial or fragmentary in the 21st century, all of its elements have equal importance. They reinforce and complement each other. That is why it is important for us not only to defend our political sovereignty and national identity, but also to strengthen everything that ensures the country's economic independence, its self-sustainability and independence in the matters of finances, workforce and technology," Putin said.
"The architecture of Western sanctions was based on a false assumption that Russia is not sovereign in terms of economy, that it has critical points of vulnerability," he continued.
Those who designed anti-Russian sanctions "were carried away by fantasies about Russia’s under-development and its allegedly weak position in the global economy and trade, and, at some point, they apparently started to believe in them," the Russian leader said. "As they were planning their economic blitzkrieg, they failed to notice real facts, turning a blind eye to them."
The president said that Russia changed in recent years through "a planned effort to create a sustainable macroeconomic structure, ensure food security, enable import substitution and establish its own payment system."
Nevertheles, the sanctions have brought about "numerous difficult tasks" that Russia has to solve, he continued.
"On the other hand, this situation creates new opportunities for us. We are saying this quite often, but this is really so. All of this will be an incentive to build an economy whose technological, production, workforce and scientific independence and potential is full rather than partial," Putin said.