Russia Reveals Heavy Price Of Western Sanctions

Russia’s finance minister has admitted the extent of the financial pressure on the country as a result of falling oil prices and the impact of sanctions.

Anton Siluanov was quoted by the RIA Novosti news agency as putting the cost of Western penalties for Russia’s actions in Ukraine at $40bn(26bn) annually.

He added: “We are losing some $90bn to $100bn(58bn-64bn) per year due to oil prices falling 30%.”

His comments, to an economic forum in Moscow, followed an escalation in the tone of Russian anger over the sanctions which are blocking the country’s access to international capital markets and targeting key individuals.

Foreign minister Sergei Lavrovaccused the West on Saturday of attempting to achieve “regime change” in Russia through sanctions that aim to destroy the economy and rouse public protests.

Western governments have refused to rule out stepping up sanctions against Russia – intensifying the pressure on Moscow at a time it is suffering through the lower oil prices.

Russia has been accused of “unjustified” aggression by NATO which last week revealed it had scrambled jets 400 times in response to levels of Russian military air activity not seen since the Cold War.

But President Vladimir Putin has suggested that the restrictions on the Russian economy will have little real impact.

“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,” he said on Sunday.

Approximately half of Russia’s revenue comes from oil and its budget for next year is based on a price of $96 a barrel, however the price is currently below $80.

The country has said it is considering cutting its production in a bid to revive prices, but that would likely be counterproductive if the major OPEC oil producers cartel fails to order a similar move at its meeting in Vienna later this week.

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24 November 2014 | 5:15 pm – Source: orange.co.uk

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