MOSCOW: Russia is set to lose around $40 billion (32 billion euros) per year due to Western sanctions over the Ukraine conflict, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said on Monday.
“We are losing around $40 billion per year due to geopolitical sanctions and we are losing some $90 to $100 billion per year due to oil prices falling 30 percent,” Siluanov said in a speech at an economic forum in Moscow, quoted by RIA Novosti news agency.
Sanctions imposed by the European Union and the United States on Russia’s economy, which is largely dependent on exports of raw materials, block its access to international capital markets and also to technology.
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Saturday accused the West of attempting to achieve “regime change” in Russia through sanctions that aim to destroy the economy and rouse public protests.
President Vladimir Putin suggested Sunday that Russia could experience “catastrophic consequences” from sanctions, the falling oil price and the plunging ruble, while arguing that these would have knock-on effects for other countries.
“The modern world is interdependent. It’s far from guaranteed that sanctions, the steep fall in oil prices and the loss of value of the national currency will lead to negative results or catastrophic consequences only for us,” Putin warned in an interview with TASS news agency.
Putin denied he has financial links to the Russian officials and businessmen from his inner circle who are targeted by Western sanctions blacklists.
He said to impose sanctions on those individuals in an attempt to get to him was an approach based on a “false premise.”
Putin suggested that falling oil prices were due to “targeted steps by our partners on the world energy market.”