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Putin to give ‘extremely important’ speech at SPIEF 2022

Russian President Vladimir Putin will deliver a speech at the annual St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) on Friday. It will be his first major appearance before an international audience since Russia launched its military campaign in Ukraine in late February.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that Putin’s speech this year will be “extremely important.”

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He added that the president will focus on the Russian economy, but also comment on global events.

Putin is expected to address the rise in energy prices and the looming global food crisis, among other matters.

The president will take part in a SPIEF plenary session, moderated by RT editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan.

SPIEF is an annual gathering of business leaders, investors and politicians. The forum started on Wednesday and will run through June 18.

This year’s event has been overshadowed by sweeping sanctions imposed on Moscow by EU and NATO member states, with many large corporations leaving the Russian market.

Putin said this month that companies leaving the Russian market will come to regret the move. On Thursday, he linked the exodus to countries “which can’t make sovereign decisions.”

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