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Vladimir Putin has warned of “catastrophic consequences” for global energy markets, with European nations most at risk, if Western countries impose new sanctions on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.

European countries are scrambling to find alternative energy sources to replace Russian oil and gas imports, posing a risk to the long-term stability of Russia’s sanctions-hit economy, which has been buoyed by the income from its commodity exports.

But speaking to government officials via video link on Friday, the Russian president said European countries are at the greatest risk, as their distance from Russian energy will push up gas prices in the market. cash and for consumers.

“All of this reveals, once again, that sanctions against Russia end up doing much more harm to the countries that impose them,” Putin said.

“The increased use of sanctions could have even more serious, if not, without exaggeration, catastrophic consequences on the global energy market.”

Putin said that Western countries were trying to convince other energy producers to increase their production in order to keep prices low, “but the energy market”, he said, “does not tolerate such a fuss”.

Putin admitted the sanctions also had an effect on Russia and warned his ministers not to let their guard down.

He said he could see some government officials relaxing a bit too much, adopting an attitude of, “I don’t care about these sanctions, damn it!” It is in the past, we have overcome everything and we feel confident,” Putin said.

“Yes, we should be confident, but the risks remain,” he said. “These actions, these restrictions, they hurt our economy.”