Vladimir Putin said he’d have a “serious talk” with the West over being blamed for economic issues.
Putin smiled after being told the West has implied that he’s to “blame for everything,” per Reuters.
Oil and food prices have surged to record highs since the start of the war in Ukraine.
Russian President Vladimir Putin joked on Monday that he would have a “serious talk” with the West about being blamed for the world’s current economic troubles.
Speaking to Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko in Sochi, Russia, Putin said that Russia’s economy had performed well in the face of Western sanctions, per Reuters.
The Russian ruble has rallied over the last month since it became Moscow’s only accepted currency for gas purchases and soared to 57.5 against the US dollar on Monday after plunging to an all-time low of 150 to the dollar in March.
“On the economy, thanks are really due to [the West] as they have given us such a push to our own development,” Lukashenko told Putin at the meeting, which was televised, according to Reuters.
“What is happening over there is that they really underestimated it by reading their own media. They got inflation yet the truth is ‘Putin is to blame,’ ‘Putin is to blame for everything,'” Lukashenko continued.
Reuters reported that Putin forced a smile and nodded in response to Lukashenko’s comments.
“We will have a serious talk with them,” Putin said, drawing a chuckle from Lukashenko, per the outlet.
The White House has sought to pin the US’ rapid inflation rate on Putin, with President Joe Biden saying that “Putin’s price hike” on oil has hurt American families at the gas pump.
In March, oil prices skyrocketed to their highest level since 2012. Meanwhile, global food prices reached their highest-ever peak in the same month amid a reduction in at least a quarter of the world’s supply of wheat and grain due to the war in Ukraine.
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