MOSCOW, April 21. /TASS/. Russia has never faced challenges similar to those it is encountering now, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said as he reviewed the government’s annual performance in the State Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament.
"For the first time in the history of Russia after the collapse of the USSR, and in some ways in the entire history of Russia in the 20th century, during the Soviet and post-Soviet era, our country has turned out to be under the influence of two external shocks - a sharp drop in oil prices and unprecedentedly harsh sanctions pressure," the prime minister said. "We’ve never faced such an array of simultaneous challenges."
According to Medvedev, the reality in the past year was "more complicated" even as compared with the most pessimistic expectations. He recalled that there were times in the previous periods in the history of the USSR and Russia when the oil prices were very low. In 1988, they dropped to $9 per barrel. "This reduction is comparable to the present time, considering the dollar’s changing purchasing power and a number of other economic indicators and factors," Medvedev said. He noted that various kinds of sanctions against Russia were imposed on numerous occasions, adding that there were 10 sanction waves. "The latest sanction wave may be the worst so far. However, we haven’t seen a situation where several factors act simultaneously and enhance each other’s effects, something the economists would call the multiplicative effect," the Russian prime minister said.