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“What happened for the economy? We lose at least $40 billion a year due to the political sanctions and at least $90-100 billion annually due to oil prices fall by 30%,” he said.
Oil prices have fallen sharply in the recent months. In an exclusive interview with TASS Russian President Vladimir Putin said the drop in oil prices has several reasons. Firstly, he said, the supply has increased because Saudi Arabia, Libya and Iraq have increased oil production. Islamic State militants are illegally selling cheap oil ($30 per barrel) which also affects the price, he said. Meanwhile, consumption has contracted due to stagnation.
The West, inspired by the United States, subjected Russian officials and companies to the first batch of sanctions, including visa bans and asset freezes, after Russia incorporated Crimea in mid-March after a coup in Ukraine in February.
New, sectoral, penalties against Russia were announced in late July over Moscow’s position on Ukrainian events, in particular, what the West claimed was Russia’s alleged involvement in hostilities in Ukraine’s embattled east.
Russia responded with imposing on August 6 a one-year ban on imports of beef, pork, poultry, fish, cheeses, fruit, vegetables and dairy products from Australia, Canada, the EU, the United States and Norway.
Moscow has repeatedly dismissed Western allegations that it could in any way be involved in hostilities in the east of Ukraine.