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Russia successfully weathered the Western sanctions storm, says lower house speaker

April 11, 18:36 UTC+3 MOSCOW

According to the speaker, "Russia has been able to ensure flexibility and stability in the macroeconomic field, growth in the real economy and in resolving social issues"

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©  Alexei Nikolsky/Russian Presidential Press and Information Office/TASS

MOSCOW, April 11. /TASS/. Russia has withstood Western sanctions in an effective and dignified manner said Speaker of the Russian State Duma (lower house of parliament) Vyacheslav Volodin.

"We have confronted huge external challenges … but we have responded [to them] effectively and with dignity," Volodin said on Wednesday.

In his opinion, pressure on Russia "has always existed."

"It was there during the times of the Russian Empire, during the Soviet era and even during the 1990s… However, it is only now, when our country has started stepping up its development, and begun to be really competitive, that this pressure has become overt and aggressive," the speaker said.

Volodin added that "the declared sanctions are aimed at putting the brakes on Russia’s growth."

"Its enough to recall that at the beginning of 2015 former US President Barack Obama boldly announced that under the pressure of sanctions ‘Russia is isolated with its economy in tatters’," he said. "Nonetheless, in recent years the world has come to realize that nothing like this has ever occurred."

According to the speaker, "Russia has been able to ensure flexibility and stability in the macroeconomic field, growth in the real economy and in resolving social issues."

"Based on the results of 2017, inflation stood at 2.5%, the lowest in recent decades. We managed to set up a national payment system, revive economic growth, as well as adopt and carry out the most crucial decisions paving the way for import substitution," Volodin noted. "Agricultural production has broken records even in comparison to the Soviet era. Housing construction has set records, and we mean contemporary and comfortable housing."

The State Duma speaker pointed out that the government succeeded in implementing key priorities set out by President Vladimir Putin in his decrees.

"That was not easy," he concluded.

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