WASHINGTON, January 18. /TASS/. The sanctions imposed by Western countries against Russia over the conflict in Ukraine have affected the Russian economy to a lesser extent than expected, journalist Adam Taylor noted in his analysis published by The Washington Post on Wednesday.
He was commenting on statements by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who held a meeting on economic issues on Tuesday. According to Putin, Russia's economic results for 2022 turned out to be better than many expert forecasts. According to the preliminary data cited by the president, Russia's GDP in 2022 declined by only 2.5%, while experts had predicted a deep plunge. Russia, he said, has all the opportunities to "consolidate the positive trend" emerging in the country's economy.
"But Russian data does seem to suggest that the scale of the impact was less severe than many expected. Though Putin may not be at Davos, Russia is not completely cut off from the world either. The country’s current account balance - effectively a record of its trade with the rest of the world - surged over the past year in a way that would have implied a boom year in any normal time," the author wrote.
Taylor added that Russian residents or tourists noted that "life has continued roughly as normal" despite the departure of Western chains. In this regard, the author of the article wondered whether this means "that sanctions haven’t worked". In his assessment, the sanctions were hitting the Russian economy. In the future, he believes, the sanctions "will bite harder", affecting Russia's oil and gas revenues.
"How quickly that happens will depend on persistence in the West, where lax enforcement and deliberate evasion have helped Russia over the past year. That’s perhaps why Ukrainian officials and their supporters are at the World Economic Forum in Davos, where they are pushing against fatigue and apathy among allies," wrote the Washington Post journalist.
Putin announced Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine on February 24, 2022 in response to a request by the heads of the Donbass republics for assistance. The West then imposed large-scale sanctions against Moscow and increased supplies of weapons and military equipment to Kiev by billions of dollars.