Vladimir Putin speech at economic forum delayed 'because of cyber-attack' as he hits out at 'economic blitzkrieg' against Russia

Russian president Vladimir Putin had to delay his speech at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum following a cyber attack.

The Kremlin stated that specialists were working to fix the problem, and that Mr Putin's keynote address had been moved back due to a denial of service cyber attack.

Dmitry Peskov said in a call with reporters the cyber attack had begun on Thursday.

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Mr Putin eventually gave his speech, hitting out at the sanctions from the West, branding them "mad and senseless", as well as criticising the decision to grant Ukraine EU candidate status reiterating claims that his forces invaded to protect people from genocide.

Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses a plenary session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in St.Petersburg, Russia, Friday, June 17, 2022. (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky)

Mr Putin claimed the EU had lost its "political sovereignty" in its response to the war in Ukraine and that sanctions from the West were more harmful to them than to Russia, claiming the European Union could lose more than $US400 billion because of sanctions on Russia.

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He said "the economic blitzkrieg against Russia had no chance to succeed from the very beginning” and stressed the US pretended to not notice there were other strong powers throughout the world.

Addressing the economic conference, the Russian president said inflation was increasing in EU countries, claiming inequality would only increase as a result of the sanctions.

On Ukraine, he said Russia had no choice, but to start a “special military operation” that he claims “was forced on us” to protect "our people" in Donbas, in eastern Ukraine, from "being subjected to genocide". Mr Putin said the operation would be successful despite "the West continuing to pump Ukraine with weapons”.