• Russian President Vladimir Putin said the US is acting like "God's emissary on Earth."
  • At the St Petersburg International Economic Forum, Putin slammed economic sanctions imposed on Russia.
  •  Putin said the decision to invade Ukraine 114 days ago was "forced" on Russia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has called Western sanctions against Russia "reckless and insane" and accused the US of acting like God in their actions against the country. 

Speaking at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum, dubbed the "Russian Davos," President Putin accused the USA of acting as though it is "God's emissary on Earth."

He presented Russia as the emerging leader in "a new world order," according to the Metro newspaper, that would confront the US superpower status.

"Only strong and sovereign governments can speak their minds in this newborn world order — either that or they're destined to remain colonies," of the US, said the Russian president, per NPR.

Putin slammed the punitive sanctions against Russia imposed by Western countries, calling them "reckless and insane," and vowed Russia would face the "challenge" they posed, The Guardian reports. 

"We are strong people and can cope with any challenge. Like our ancestors, we will solve any problem. The entire thousand-year history of our country speaks of this," he said.

Putin called it a "blitzkrieg" of sanctions, said The Guardian. A range of economic sanctions has been imposed on Russia.

The US has banned all oil and gas exports from the country. The UK has excluded key Russian banks from its financial system, and leading multinational companies, including Mcdonald's and Shell, have pulled their business out of Russia. 

It has previously been reported that the sanctions have devastated Russia's economy, halting 15 years of progress. 

Russian soldiers are seen on a tank in Volnovakha district in the pro-Russian separatists-controlled Donetsk, in Ukraine on March 26, 2022. Foto: Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Putin received applause when he confirmed his determination to continue the "special military operation" in Ukraine, according to Reuters.

Putin said the decision to invade Ukraine 114 days ago was "forced." 

"Against a backdrop of increasing risks for us and threats, Russia's decision to conduct a special military operation was forced - difficult, of course, but forced and necessary," he said, according to Reuters. 

He accused the West of falsely attributing the worldwide economic turmoil to the war in Ukraine, saying that it was to distract from the real cause, which he said was uncontrolled spending, the Guardian reports. 

"We all hear about so-called Putin inflation in the West. When I see this, I always think: 'Who's this meant for, this stupidity? For someone who doesn't know how to read or write.'" Putin said. 

The conference started over an hour late, according to Reuters, due to a cybersecurity attack that stopped the Forum's accreditation and admission systems from functioning. 

Read the original article on Business Insider