Vladimir Putin has – literally – waved goodbye to foreign businesses that have ditched Russia following his brutal invasion of Ukraine.
The companies that have left have suffered major financial losses – but businesses that have stayed have benefitted, the Russian president claimed today.
Speaking to senior officials at a meeting broadcast on television, he waved his hand and boasted ‘nothing is collapsing in Russia’ as a result.
‘Today many of them (Western brands), under pressure from their governments, are leaving our market. All the best to them’, he said.
‘Nothing (in Russia) has collapsed and nothing is falling apart.
‘Our companies and entrepreneurs are picking up these enterprises, and even entire sectors, and continue this work very successfully.’
Various companies – including energy producers, retail giants and food chains – said farewell to Russia in protest, and after the West imposed sanctions on the country.
Putin remarked ‘all the best to them’ as he waved his hand
Some departed firms have sold their assets to local investors for nominal fees.
Sectors of Russia’s economy have been upended by the sanctions – with the biggest banks being cut from the SWIFT financial network.
This move curbed the country’s access to technology and restricted its ability to export oil.
While the government and central bank have acknowledged ‘difficulties’, Moscow claims its economy is resilient.
Sanctions have boomeranged against the West by driving up inflation and energy prices, the Kremlin claims.
Britain is expected to be the only major power to see its economy shrink this year – faring worse than Russia.
Putin also said on Thursday that Russia should build a system for developing drones and aim to become a ‘source of technology and competence’.
Russian forces have made extensive use of drones, including those purchased from Iran, during the war in Ukraine.
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He has boasted ‘nothing is collapsing in Russia’ as a result.