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Russia losing $40 bn a year owing to sanctions
November 24, 2014, 9:12 am

Russian President Vladimir Putin with his Chinese and US counterparts at the APEC Summit in Beijing on 10 November 2014 [PPIO]

Russian President Vladimir Putin with his Chinese and US counterparts at the APEC Summit in Beijing on 10 November 2014 [PPIO]

The Russian economy is bearing the brunt of Western sanctions over the Ukraine crisis, says Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov on Monday in Moscow.

“We are losing around $40 billion in a year because of sanctions and another $90 to $100 billion because of a 30-percent drop in oil prices,” Siluanov said.

The US, EU and its allies have hit Russia’s top bank and leading energy and technology companies with sanctions to punish Moscow for its alleged support to separatist rebels in Ukraine.

Siluanov’s comments came days after Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov alleged that the US is aiming for a regime change in Russia.

Lavrov said on Saturday western nations are “announcing openly” that the crippling economic sanctions “should be ruining the economy and raising people’s protests” in Russia to achieve Washington’s political objectives.

Russia’s BRICS partners have criticized the US and EU sanctions, with Beijing saying they are “erroneous”.

Putin on Thursday hit out at Western nations for sanctions which he said violated the basic principles of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

“The limitations introduced against our country are nothing but a violation by some of our partners of the basic principles of the WTO. The principle of equal access for all countries involved in economic activity to the markets of goods and services is being violated; the most favoured nation treatment in trade and the principle of fair and free competition is being ignored,” Putin told a State Council meet .

Against the backdrop of increasing sanctions, Putin warned the Russian economy can survive only if it becomes more domestically self-reliant and more competitive on the global markets.

The Russian Ministry of Economic Development predicts a GDP growth of 1.2 per cent in 2015, while the Bank of Russia expects the country’s economy to grow by 0.3 per cent next year.

 

TBP

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