Categories: World News

Russia Doing Better Than Expected Despite Sanctions – IMF

This file photo taken on January 26, 2022, shows the seal for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington, DC. OLIVIER DOULIERY / AFP

 

Despite damaging Western sanctions imposed on Moscow in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine, Russia’s economy appears to be weathering the storm better than expected as it benefits from high energy prices, the IMF said Tuesday.

The sanctions were meant to sever Russia from the global financial system and choke off funds available to Moscow to finance the war.

But the International Monetary Fund’s latest World Economic Outlook upgraded Russia’s GDP estimate for this year by a remarkable 2.5 percentage points, although its economy is still expected to contract by six percent.

“That’s still a fairly sizable recession in Russia in 2022,” IMF chief economist Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas told AFP in an interview.

A key reason that the downturn was not as bad as expected was that “the Russian central bank and the Russian policymakers have been able to stave off a banking panic or financial meltdown when the sanctions were first imposed,” he said.

Meanwhile, rising energy prices are “providing an enormous amount of revenues to the Russian economy.”

After starting the year below $80 a barrel, oil prices spiked to nearly $129 in March before easing back to under $105 on Tuesday for Brent, the key European benchmark, while natural gas prices are rising again and approaching their recent peak.

While major economies including the United States and China are slowing, the report said, “Russia’s economy is estimated to have contracted during the second quarter by less than previously projected, with crude oil and non-energy exports holding up better than expected.”

Meanwhile, despite the sanctions, Russia’s “domestic demand is also showing some resilience” due to government support.

But Gourinchas said “there is no rebound” ahead for Russia. “In fact,” the IMF is “revising down the Russian growth in 2023,” 1.2 points lower than the April forecast for a contraction of 3.5 percent.

The penalties already in place, as well as new ones announced by Europe, mean “the cumulative effect of the sanctions is also growing over time,” he said.

The report indicates Europe is facing the brunt of the fallout from sanctions given its reliance on Russia for energy. The situation could worsen dramatically if Moscow cuts off gas exports, and once the European Union imposes a ban on Russian oil delivered by sea starting next year.

AFP

Anthonia Orji

Disqus Comments Loading...
Share
Published by
Anthonia Orji
Tags: IMF

Recent Posts

  • Sports

Struggling Salernitana Sack Coach Nicola After Humiliating Defeat

"The club thanks the coach for his passion and dedication (and) for achieving the historic goal of staying in Serie…

4 hours ago
  • Sports

Djokovic Set For Eagerly Anticipated Australian Open Return

Serbia's Djokovic, one of the finest men's tennis players of all time, was deported on the eve of last year's…

4 hours ago
  • World News

Peru Protests: I Will Not Resign, President Boluarte Insists

"I will not resign. My commitment is with Peru."

4 hours ago
  • Local

Obasanjo Leads Alma Mater’s Centenary Walk

They walked and sang the school anthem, among other songs.

4 hours ago
  • Headlines
  • World News

UK Teachers Announce Strike Over Pay

The announcement came as public sector workers hold a wave of walkouts for salaries to take into account double-digit inflation.

4 hours ago
  • World News

Tiger Escapes, Attacks Man In South Africa

The 39-year-old man survived the attack.

5 hours ago