Sanctions failed, Russia recorded a historic high trade surplus of $58bn in the first quarter of 2022
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has said that the barrage of Western sanctions imposed against Russia over its invasion of neighbouring Ukraine has failed.
Putin said on Monday that the West “expected to quickly upset the financial-economic situation, provoke panic in the markets, the collapse of the banking system and shortages in stores”.
He added that “the strategy of the economic blitz has failed” and instead led to a “deterioration of the economy in the West”.
The Russian leader spoke in televised remarks during a video call with top economic officials.
Western countries have imposed unprecedented sanctions on Russia’s corporate and financial system since it sent troops into Ukraine on February 24 in what it calls a “special military operation”.
Putin noted that “Russia has withstood the unprecedented pressure”, arguing that the rouble has strengthened and the country has recorded a historic high trade surplus of $58bn in the first quarter of the year.
Instead, he contended that the sanctions backfired against the United States and its European allies, speeding up inflation and leading to a drop in living standards.
Putin acknowledged a sharp hike in consumer prices in Russia, saying they rose by 17.5 percent as of April on a year-to-year basis and directing the government to index wages and other payments to alleviate the impact of inflation on incomes.
Putin said Russia should use its budget to support the economy and liquidity in conditions of contracting lending activity even though the central bank’s rate cuts will make lending cheaper.
He also said Russia should speed up the process of using national currencies in foreign trade under the new conditions.
The World Bank has said it expects the economy to shrink by more than 11 percent this year.