MOSCOW, March 2. /TASS/. Western sanctions have caused long-term serious damage to the principles of openness of world trade, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said in an interview with RT.
"The principles of openness in world trade have been severely damaged. These are not just the consequences of one year and they will have a long-term impact on global trade as a whole," Siluanov said.
He noted that the sanctions are hurting both Russia and the countries that introduced them, as well as global trade in general. "First, we noticed the freezing of our foreign assets - gold and foreign currency reserves, the assets of companies that were sanctioned were frozen. This reduced confidence in the settlement mechanism. In particular, the logistics and expenses of our exporters were damaged. The damage was caused by the introduction of uniform restrictions on the import of the goods we need," Siluanov explained.
The minister explained that Russia needs to develop a system "so that no sanctions, no external influences from [unfriendly countries] affect our plans."
"This primarily concerns budget plans and production initiatives of our companies," he emphasized. According to him, this requires ensuring financial security and independence.
At the same time, the minister noted that Russia’s public debt at the beginning of 2023 amounted to 15.1% of GDP. "We pursued a responsible fiscal policy, including both the fiscal rule and a low debt. Our debt at the beginning of 2023 amounted to 15.1% of GDP. This is our advantage, as it allows us to maneuver in terms of financial market operations, borrowing possibilities, and future budget expenditure financing," Siluanov said.