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Russia's economy expands despite Western sanctions: Putin

ASIA PACIFIC DAILY | Sat,2017-06-17


Western sanctions on Russia have had only a limited effect and the country's economy has even partly benefited from them, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday.

Sanctions are a double-edged sword as Russia lost 50 billion to 52 billion U.S. dollars while Western countries lost 100 billion dollars, Putin said during his annual "Direct Line" questions-and-answers session.

Meanwhile, some sectors of the Russian economy, particularly the agricultural sector, have benefited from the sanctions, Putin said.

The Russian agricultural sector has shown a 3-percent growth and the country has become the world's biggest wheat exporter, said the Russian leader.

The country has also significantly reduced its food imports and has increased domestic production of pork and poultry, he said.

Other sectors positively affected by the sanctions include radio electronics, aircraft building, space industry, pharmaceutical industry and heavy engineering among others, Putin said.

As a result, Russia has managed to overcome its recession and achieved a year-on-year growth of 1.4 percent in April and a 0.7-percent growth in the first quarter of this year, he said.

Western countries have imposed several sets of economic sanctions on Russia since 2014 over Crimea.

Moscow responded by banning imports of various commodities, mainly foodstuffs, from these countries.

During Thursday's televised event, Putin also said that Russia is ready to lift its sanctions if western countries lift their own too.

"We will watch how our relations develop with the countries that imposed restrictions on our economy," he said.

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