Putin warned there should be no repeat of last year’s fires, which were the largest ever recorded for Russia.
“I want to draw special attention to the fact that we cannot allow the situation from last year to repeat itself, when the wildfires became the longest and most severe in recent years,” he said. “We need to fight fires more efficiently, systematically, consistently and improve the quality and level of all types of prevention.”
In an online meeting on state television, Putin said fires cause significant material damage and threaten life, the environment and the economy.
This year, there have been 4,000 wildfires in an area of 270,000 hectares so far, acting Emergency Situations Minister Alexander Chupryan told Putin. That is an area about the same size as Luxembourg.
Eight people were killed on Saturday as fires swept through hundreds of buildings in several Siberian villages, with high winds hampering efforts to extinguish the blazes. Putin said 700 houses were damaged by the fires and needed repairs.
†[Forests are] the ecological shield of our country and the entire planet. They play a key role in absorbing global greenhouse gas emissions, meaning large-scale fires undermine our efforts to save the climate. This is a fundamental issue for the whole world, for our country,” Putin said.
Many traders have been avoiding Russian oil since Ukraine’s invasion of the country. The US has banned imports of Russian oil, liquefied natural gas and coal, while the European Union has proposed a similar ban before the end of the year.