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Putin says Western barrage of sanctions failed

Sanctions also affected the initiators themselves, the Russian President pointed out

NOVO-OGARYOVO, April 18. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that sanctions policy of Western economic blitzkrieg against Russia had failed.

"Obviously, the main negative factor for the economy recently has been additional sanctions pressure from Western countries. The goal was to quickly undermine financial and economic situation in our country, provoke panic on the markets, collapse of the banking system, and a large-scale shortage of goods in stores," he said at a meeting on social and economic issues on Monday.

"But we can already confidently say that this policy towards Russia has failed," Putin stressed and added, "The economic blitzkrieg strategy has failed".

"Moreover, sanctions also affected the initiators themselves. I mean the growth of inflation and unemployment, the deterioration of economic dynamics in the United States and European countries, the decline in the standard of living in Europe, the devaluation of their savings," Putin noted.

At the same time, the situation in the Russian economy is stabilizing, while the ruble exchange rate is returning to the levels of early February, Putin said. "Russia has withstood this unprecedented pressure. The situation is stabilizing, the ruble exchange rate has returned to the levels of the first half of February and is being defined by the objectively strong payment balance," he said.

The surplus of the current account of balance of payments in Russia exceeded $58 bln in Q1, "hitting a fresh all-time high," the president said, adding that foreign exchange cash is returning to the country’s banking system and the volumes of deposits of citizens are rising.

Inflation in Russia is stabilizing now, Putin pointed out. "I will separately note the inflation issue. It is stabilizing now," he said, adding that "consumer prices grew notably over the last 1.5 months - by 9.4%, while in annual terms as of April 8 inflation amounted to 17.5%."

Putin believes that Russia’s budget should saturate the economy with financial resources and maintain its liquidity amid declining lending. "As for the budget, I am aware of the discussions between the Bank of Russia and the government. However, faced with objective decline in lending, of course, the budget should actively support the economy, saturate it with financial resources, and maintain its liquidity," he said.