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Putin warns West against ‘economic egoism’, offers real food aid to emerging economies

The Russian President called the European Commission’s decision to lift sanctions from Russian fertilizers as a vivid example of their 'opportunism'

SAMARKAND, September 16. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin took the West to task over its ‘economic egoism’ and illegal sanctions, while pointing out systemic mistakes made by leading global economies.

"Our integration is of a non-bloc nature, and we offer assistance in solving energy and food problems that emerge in the world, arising from a number of systemic mistakes in leading global economies in the area of finance and energy," he said at an expanded meeting of the SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization) summit on Friday. "Hopefully, other participants in economic cooperation will build their policy on the same principles as well, and stop using the tools of protectionism, illegal sanctions and economic egoism opportunistically," the Russian president added.

Putin called the European Commission’s decision to lift sanctions from Russian fertilizers as a vivid example of such a policy. "We know how important fertilizers are for resolving the food problem," he stated. "We surely welcome the decision to remove these sanctions itself, though it turns out those sanctions as explained by the European Commission on September 10 of this year have only been removed for EU member states. It turns out only they can buy our fertilizers! What about emerging [economies]? [And] the world’s poorest countries?" Putin pointed out.

The Russian president turned to the UN Secretariat through Under Secretary General Rosemary Di Carlo who was present at the meeting, asking to influence the European Commission’s decision and "not in word but in deed to demand those discriminatory restrictions against developing states be lifted." He added that he had discussed the issue with UN chief Antonio Guterres as well.

Putin also put the spotlight on giving emerging markets access to Russian fertilizers, announcing his readiness to give 300,000 tonnes of Russian fertilizers to developing states free of charge. "Two days ago, I informed Guterres that 300,000 tonnes of Russian fertilizers had piled up in EU seaports. We are ready to give them to developing countries free of charge," he noted.