It would be good for Russia for the process of sanction imposition to be done and dusted as quickly as possible, said Russian President Vladimir Putin at a plenary session of the Russian Energy Week forum on Wednesday.
“You know, I sometimes think that it would be good for us if you who want to impose sanctions would just impose all the sanctions that can possible be imposed, and as quickly as possible,” Putin remarked.
According to the Russian President, such a scenario would free up Russia’s hands to protect its national interests more effectively.
The current state of certainty is “concerning”, Putin said: “there is uncertainty in politics, in security and in the economy”.
With respect to the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, Putin said, “Skripal is a spy, a traitor to the homeland, nothing more than a scumbag, and that’s all,” adding that “espionage, just like prostitution, is one of the most important professions in the world”.
If further sanctions affect Nord Stream 2, and Gazprom’s European partners are forced to abandon it, Russia is prepared to build the gas pipeline using its own funds. “We will realize the project on our own, we have no problems with this, they could emerge, but we will deal with them,” the Russian President promised.
The Trump administration’s attempts to replace Russian gas in Europe with American liquefied natural gas “are not working”, Putin asserts.
“I understand Donald, he is fighting for his country’s interests, for his business’s interests, and is going about it properly,” Putin observed. “I would do the same thing in his position.”
However, American gas is 30% more expensive than Russian gas on the European market. “This is a lot, even a prohibitively large amount. Impossible to implement, essentially,” Putin remarked.