June 16—Speaking at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) on June 16, President Putin—who was joined by his special guest, Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune and moderator Dimitri Simes—presented a very upbeat picture of the development of the economy in spite of, or even as a result of, the sanctions imposed by the U.S. and its allies. He noted that the Russian economy has grown by 3.3% in April and that growth for the year could reach 2%, while inflation is at a near low at 2.2%. Unemployment is at an all-time low at 3.3%, although Putin admitted that it remains still higher in some regions. He calls for new measures, including implementing e-commerce, to create new opportunities in these regions. He declared that trade with those countries that have not buckled under to U.S. demands is steadily on the rise.