President Vladimir Putin has said at Russia's showpiece investment conference that the country's economy will overcome sanctions that he called "reckless and insane."
Putin began his address Friday to the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum with a lengthy denunciation of countries that he contends want to weaken Russia, including the United States. He says the U.S. "declared victory in the Cold War and later came to think of themselves as God's own messengers on planet Earth."
Russia came under a wide array of sanctions after sending troops into Ukraine in February. Putin said trying to damage the Russian economy "didn't work."
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Friday that it's still "absolutely necessary" for some leaders to talk directly to Russian President Vladimir Putin amid efforts to end the war in Ukraine. He told German news agency DPA on Friday that he and France's president will continue to do so.
Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron have held several telephone conversations with Putin, separately and together, since Russia's invasion began in late February. Those contacts have drawn some criticism — including from Poland's president, who said recently that they achieve nothing and serve only to legitimize the Russian leader.
Scholz said some leaders need to talk to Putin "and it is necessary that they are clear."