OREANDA-NEWS "According to experts, only direct, countable losses of the European Union from the sanctions fever for the coming year may exceed $400 billion. This is the price of decisions that are divorced from reality and taken contrary to common sense", - said Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia, during his speech at St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF).

He stressed that "these costs are directly borne by the population and companies of the European Union. Inflation growth has already exceeded 20% in some eurozone countries". At the same time, he noted that the eurozone countries "do not conduct any special operations", unlike Russia. "Even the giants have the highest inflation in the last 40 years", Putin said.

The President noted that inflation in Russia is also still at double-digit levels, however, the Russian Government has already indexed social payments and pensions, raised the minimum wage and the living wage, and protected the poorest segments of the population.

He added that, as the practice of recent years shows, the sanctions policy is a weapon, and it is double-edged. "It causes comparable, if not more, damage to the very same ideologists and designers of it, and it's not about the current obvious consequences only. We know that among the leaders of European countries, at the level of informal conversations (what is called furtively) very disturbing prospects are being discussed: that sanctions can be applied not only against Russia, but also against any other objectionable state. Sooner or later they can affect everyone, including the EU members themselves and European companies", the politician said.