Russian President Vladimir Putin reiterated that Moscow’s actions have nothing to do with the looming energy and food crisis in the world and again blamed economic and financial policies of the West for creating such a scenario.
Current and former energy officials tell CNN they worry that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in the wake of years of underinvestment in the energy sector have sent the world careening into a crisis that will rival, or even exceed, the oil crises of the 1970s and early 1980s.
US President Joe Biden has blamed Russia's invasion for domestic price hikes and global food supply shortages.
In an interview with state TV channel Rossiya-1, conducted Friday and aired in full Sunday, the Russian leader blamed the United States for "injecting large sums of money" into its economy as a means of combating the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, which led to inflation and an "unfavorable situation in the food market, because first of all, food prices went up."
Putin also blamed "the short-sighted policy of European countries, and above all the European Commission, in the energy sector" as another reason for the crisis in food and energy market.
“Among other things, the Europeans did not listen to our urgent requests to preserve long-term contracts for the supply of the same natural gas to European countries, and they also began to (terminate the contracts) … This had a negative impact on the European energy market: Prices crept up. Russia has absolutely nothing to do with it," he said.
As soon as gas prices went up, fertilizer prices "immediately increased, because some of these fertilizers are produced, including at the expense of gas. Everything is interconnected," Putin added.
"But we warned about this, and this has nothing to do with any military operation of Russia," Putin said.
The Kremlin said last week that Moscow is ready to make a “significant contribution” to avoid the food crisis through the export of grain and fertilizers, if the West lifts “politically motivated restrictions” on Russia.