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MOSCOW, March 27. /ITAR-TASS/. Capital outflow from Russia this year may reach $150-160 billion, says former Russian Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin.
Kudrin told reporters at Moscow Exchange Forum on Thursday that flight would exceed the record high $120 billion in 2008.
"It's a sort of payment for an independent foreign policy," the former minister said. "So far, society is prepared to agree to these expenses."
Kudrin estimated related damage amounting to hundreds of billion dollars, which Russia might have had as GDP growth and investments in budget revenue.
"Obviously, the desire to set up certain independent financial institutions and infrastructure somewhat distanced from Western institutions means more expenditure," Kudrin said, estimating economic growth rates slowing to 0.5% of GDP.
Russian Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev told the forum earlier that capital outflow in the first quarter was estimated at $60 billion and that annual outflow might reach $100 billion, which would slow GDP growth to 0.6%.